Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage has announced full casting for its upcoming production of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, a new stage adaptation of William Rose's Academy Award-winning screenplay, written by Todd Kreidler (Holler If Ya Hear Me). Broadway veteran David Esbjornson (Driving Miss Daisy) directs the production in place of the previously announced Kenny Leon, who had to withdraw from the production due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict.
The original 1967 film, which starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy, follows the Draytons, a liberal upper-class white family, through one tumultuous day. When the Drayton's daughter, Joanna, announces to her parents that she plans to marry an accomplished African-American doctor, racial tensions end up being a larger problem than they all anticipated.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, will star as Dr. John Prentice, opposite Bethany Anne Lind in the role of Joanna Drayton. The cast will also feature Tom Key as Matt Drayton, Tess Malis Kincaid as Christina Drayton, Michael Russotto as Monsignor Ryan, Eugene Lee as John Prentice Sr., Andrea Frye as Mary Prentice, Valerie Leonard as Hilary St. George, and Lynda Gravátt as Matilda Banks.
"I am delighted to return to Arena Stage to present Todd Kreidler's exciting, new stage adaptation of what has become a classic American story," said Esbjornson in a statement. "It is a privilege to work with this exceptional group of artists who share in the hope that audiences will find the experience of this piece compelling, provocative, and perhaps all too relevant."
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner will run from November 29-January 5, 2014, on the Fichandler Stage.