► Producers of Perfect Crime, currently Off-Broadway’s longest-running play, have announced that the murder mystery will soon be adding a new cast member. Gary Busey, who has appeared in over 150 films over the last forty years and received an Oscar nomination in 1978 for his performance in The Buddy Holly Story, will make his Off-Broadway debut in the role of serial killer Lionel McAuley. “Our playwright Warren Manzi, who died earlier this year, would have been so thrilled that Gary is playing Lionel McAuley – it’s perfect casting,” commented executive producer Armand Hyatt in a statement. Busey will join the current cast for two weeks only from Nov. 21-Dec. 4 at The Theater Center on W. 50th St. He will star opposite Catherine Russell, a Guinness Book World Record holder for having never taken a sick day in the show’s 30-year history and who has spent nearly 24,000 hours onstage performing in Perfect Crime.
► Abingdon Theatre Company, an Off Broadway company dedicated to developing and producing new American work by emerging and established artists, has announced the slate for its upcoming 24th season. The theater will produce two world-premiere plays and a new musical to be performed at the June Havoc Theatre starting in Jan. 2017. The company’s season will start with The Mother of Invention, a new play by Oscar winner James Lecesne that takes an unflinching and comedic look at the challenges of Alzheimer’s. In March 2017, the season will continue with the world premiere of Chess Match, a new play conceived and directed by Anne Bogart with a text arranged by Jocelyn Clarke based on public conversations with American composer, writer, artist, and philosopher John Cage. The season will conclude in April with the theater’s first musical, The Boy Who Danced on Air, directed by Tony Speciale and featuring music by Tim Rosser and book and lyrics by Charlie Sohne.
► Come From Away, a new rock musical by Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein about a group of travelers forced to land in a small Newfoundland town in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will begin previews on Feb. 18 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The show’s journey to Broadway began in the summer of 2015 with a successful run at La Jolla Playhouse, followed by a fall stint at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, where the show broke box-office records. Now performing at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., the production travels to Toronto’s Royal Alexandria Theatre from Nov. 15-Jan 8 before moving to New York. Directed by Christopher Ashley, the show features Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks and Caesar Samayoa, among others. Official opening is set for Mar. 12.
► Irish Repertory Theatre will present the world premiere of The Dead, 1904, a new, immersive adaptation of James Joyce‘s classic short story. Staged at the American Irish Historical Society townhouse for an audience of 42 people per night, the production, which takes place during a holiday gathering at the Dublin home of two elderly sisters, will travel over three floors of the building, which has been restored to period decoration, and feature a full dinner created by Great Performances. The cast includes three-time Emmy and Tony Award nominee Kate Burton, four-time Tony winner Boyd Gaines, Tony winner Carole Shelley, Aedin Moloney, Peter Cormican, Barrie Kreinik, Terry Donnelly, James Russell, Clare O’Malley, Heather Martin Bixler, Patti Perkins and Karl Scully. Adapted for the stage by Paul Muldoon and Jean Hanff-Korelitz, with direction by Ciarán O’Reilly, the show will run Nov. 19-Jan. 7.
► Paula Vogel‘s new play, Indecent, which enjoyed a healthy run Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre earlier this year, will make the move to Broadway next spring. The play with music explores the controversy surrounding the 1923 Broadway play “God of Vengeance,” which was shut down after the police charged the cast members with obscenity, in part because it depicted a lesbian relationship. Previews are set to start in early April ahead of an Apr. 18 opening at a Shubert theater to be determined. Casting will be announced soon. Vogel won the Pulitzer Prize for her play How I Learned to Drive. This production of Indecent will mark her Broadway debut.
► And finally, friends and associates of Edward Albee, who passed away on Sept. 16 at the age of 88, will organize a memorial service to pay tribute to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Widely-recognized as one of the greatest playwrights of his generation, Edward Albee wrote more than 30 plays, including The Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance, Seascape, Three Tall Women, The Play About the Baby and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?. The service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 1PM at the August Wilson Theatre, located at 245 W. 52nd St. A limited number of seats will be available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. Door will open at 12:30 p.m.
– Written by Richard Hart