Play by ‘Matilda’ Writer Books an Off Broadway Bow

Reed Birney and Margaret Colin will star in the Manhattan Theater Club production

Dennis Kelly Matilda Playwright
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Manhattan Theater Club has added “Taking Care of Baby,” a 2007 play by “Matilda” Tony winner Dennis Kelly, to its Off Broadway slate this fall.

Off Broadway stalwart Reed Birney and Margaret Colin will topline a cast that also will include Kristen Bush and Amelia Campbell. Erica Schmidt, who helmed solo outing “Humor Abuse” at MTC in 2009, directs.

Kelly, who recently scripted TV series “Utopia” for Channel 4 in the U.K., snagged a Tony earlier this year for his book to “Matilda,” the strong-selling and much-lauded tuner adaptation of the Roald Dahl tale. “Taking Care of Baby,” which preemed in Birmingham in 2007, centers on a woman accused of murdering her two children.

MTC has programmed “Baby” for City Center Stage II, the smaller of its two Off Broadway spaces. The show joins a 2013-14 lineup at MTC that includes three Broadway outings — Mary-Louise Park starrer “The Snow Geese,” Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner topliner “The Commons of Pensacola” and “Outside Mullingar,” the new play by John Patrick Shanley starring Debra Messing — and two plays set to play on MTC’s other Off Broadway stage: “Tales from Red Vienna” plus “When We Were Young and Unafraid” starring Cherry Jones.

“Taking Care of Baby” begins previews Nov. 5 ahead of a Nov. 19 opening.