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The Weekend Report: Jason Alexander Directs New Play; Chuck and Lilli Cooper Onstage Together

Find out what's going on in the theater industry this week.

Welcome to TheaterMania's Weekend Report, where you'll find recent news stories from the New York theater scene and beyond.

Jason Alexander will direct The War of the Roses.
(© Tricia Baron)

Jason Alexander Will Direct The War of the Roses

Jason Alexander will direct a new Broadway-bound theatrical adaptation of Warren Adler's novel The War of the Roses this summer at Maine's Ogunquit Playhouse.

Written for the stage by Peter Tolan, The War of the Roses will begin previews at Ogunquit on August 28, with opening night set for September 4. Casting, additional creative team, and a potential Broadway timeline will be announced at a later date.

This new play follows Oliver and Barbara Rose, a wealthy couple seemingly enjoying marital bliss, until the moment Barbara asks for a divorce.

Lilli Cooper and Chuck Cooper will costar in Arsenic and Old Lace.
(© Tricia Baron)

Full Casting for Arsenic and Old Lace

Additional casting has been announced for Keen Company's upcoming benefit reading of Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring.

Leading the company are the previously announced Kathleen Chalfant as Abby, Marsha Mason as Martha, and Michael Urie as Mortimer. They will be joined by Lilli Cooper, Chuck Cooper, Major Attaway, Hal Robinson, Reg Rogers, Jay Russell, and Kyle Sherman. This will mark the first time that father and daughter Chuck and Lilli Cooper will play father and daughter onstage together (as Reverend Harper and Elaine Harper).

The reading will be directed by Jonathan Silverstein on February 24 at Theatre Row.

Jocelyn Bioh's new play Nollywood Dreams will have its world premiere at MCC this spring.
(© Allison Stock)

Complete Casting for Jocelyn Bioh's Nollywood Dreams

The MCC world premiere of Jocelyn Bioh's Nollywood Dreams will include Charlie Hudson, III, Nana Mensah, Sandra Okuboyejo, Ade Otukoya, Emana Rachelle, and Zenzi Williams.

Directed by Saheem Ali, performances will begin March 19 in the Newman Mills Theater at the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, with an official opening night set for April 13.

The play is set in Lagos, Nigeria, in the 1990s during the boom of the Nollywood film industry where Ayamma (Okuboyejo) dreams of stardom.

Christopher Lloyd will star in King Lear at Shakespeare & Company.
(© David Gordon)

Season Announcements

• The summer season at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA will include The Lifespan of a Fact (May 21-July 11); King Lear starring Christopher Lloyd (June 28-August 2); The Comedy of Errors (July 7-August 8); My Left Breast (July 16-19); What Rhymes With America (July 23-August 15); Much Ado About Nothing (August 11-September 6); Row After Row (August 13-September 13); Measure for Measure (September 2-6); and Betrayal (September 18-October 18).

• Barrington Stage Company will close out its 2020 season with Arthur Miller's The Price, running October 1-18 under the direction of Julianne Boyd.

• Audible will present Anita Hill, Sarah Jones, Mahogany L. Browne, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and more in In Love and Struggle, running February 28-March 1 at the Minetta Lane Theatre. It will also present Liza Jessie Peterson in her solo show The Peculiar Patriot at the Minetta Lane Theatre, March 5-7. Emmy winner Faith Salie's new solo show, Approval Junkie, will get a run at the Minetta Lane March 17-April 19. Amanda Watkins will direct. All three productions will be recorded for future digital release.

• The Berkshire Theatre Group summer season will include mainstage productions of the world-premiere musical Letters to the President (June 18-July 18) and Stephen Schwartz's Godspell (July 23-August 29). In the Unicorn Theatre will be solo performances of Sean Christopher Lewis's Dogs of Rwanda (May 15-23) and Rachel Siegel's The R Word (May 16-24), as well as productions of Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song (June 11-July 4), the world premiere of Tara L. Wilson Noth's B.R.O.K.E.N. code B.I.R.D. switching (July 9-August 1), Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (August 6-29), and C.P. Taylor's And a Nightingale Sang (September 24-October 18). In the Colonial Theatre will also be a production of Peter Pan (July 2-26), featuring over 100 Berkshire youth.

General Announcements

• Jonathan Cable will join the off-Broadway cast of Jersey Boys as Nick Massi beginning Monday, February 17 at New World Stages.

• Francis Benhamou, Mattico David, Marjan Neshat, and Babak Tafti join the cast of Sylvia Khoury's Selling Kabul, directed by Tyne Rafaeli at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater, beginning March 27.

Photo Call

Check out production photos and more that were released this week: