“The Young Man From Atlanta” is experiencing growing pains on its journey from New York to New York. Horton Foote’s play was presented last season by the Signature Theater Company and won the Pulitzer Prize; it was picked up by producer David Richenthal (who had not seen the Signature production) and was pencilled in for Broadway in April ’96, after runs at the Huntington Theater in Boston and at the Alley Theater in Houston.
Now, however, it appears likely that the play won’t come to New York until next fall, and when it does, it will be with a new director and probably a new star. None of the key people involved in “Atlanta” would comment. But the producers – who now include Jujamcyn Theaters, Anita Howe-Waxman and Anne Strickland Squadron – were unhappy with the recently concluded Boston run, which did average business, according to the Huntington, and was less successful than the New York contingent anticipated. Their dissatisfaction apparently intensified when director Peter Masterson – whose wife, Carlin Glynn, co-stars with Ralph Waite in the play- left during the run to prepare for the imminent filming of Foote’s “Lily Dale,” which Masterson is also directing. The situation is made even dicier because Foote and Masterson are cousins who also have a longtime working relationship.
People in the production are trying to patch things up. But they said last week they expect that after the Houston run in February – which will proceed as planned – Masterson will be replaced. The move, which couldn’t be made without Foote’s approval, will probably necessitate the postponement to the fall. And it’s unlikely Glynn will still be with the play by then.