Lincoln Center Theater has just announced that Betsy Aidem, Blair Brown, Michael Cerveris, Anthony Cochrane, Lauren Culpepper, Alvin Epstein, Kathryn Erbe, John Glover, Jennifer B. Grace, Katie Kreisler, Stephen Kunken, Haviland Morris, Dale Place, John Procaccino, Gareth Saxe and Alan Schmuckler will be featured in the 18-member cast of its upcoming world premiere production of NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS, a new play by Richard Nelson. The play, which was commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater, will be directed by David Cromer and will begin performances on Thursday, April 4 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Opening night is Monday, May 6. Additional casting for NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS will be announced at a later date.
It's 1948 and during a spring weekend in Westport, CT a close-knit group of Russian emigres, including choreographer George Balanchine (to be played by Michael Cerveris), composer Igor Stravinsky (John Glover), conductor Serge Koussevitsky (Dale Place), painter/set designer Sergey Sudeikin (Alvin Epstein) and composer Nikolai Nabokov (Stephen Kunken), gather to eat, drink and talk. In NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS playwright Richard Nelson reimagines, during the course of this weekend, the creation of Balanchine and Stravinsky's historic collaboration, the ballet Orpheus, and explores the interesting and controversial ways American art was funded at the outset of the Cold War. Interspersed throughout the action of the play will be moments of Balanchine's original Orpheus choreography.
NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS will have sets by Marsha Ginsberg, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Ken Billington, sound by Daniel Kluger, choreography by George Balanchine and ballet staging by Rosemary Dunleavy. Jeff Edwards is Ballet Master.
Richard Nelson's plays include Some Americans Abroad and Two Shakespearean Actors (both plays produced by Lincoln Center Theater, the latter receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Play), The General From America, Franny's Way, Madame Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere, New England, Life Sentences, Principia Scriptoriae, The Vienna Notes and Conjuring An Event. He wrote the book and lyrics and directed the musical My Life with Albertine, wrote the book for the musical Chess, and wrote the book, conceived and adapted the lyrics and directed the musical The Dead, winning a Tony Award for his book.
David Cromer directed LCT's production of When the Rain Stops Falling, for which he won a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Direction. His other credits include the recent Broadway productions of The House of Blue Leaves and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Off-Broadway credits include, Our Town, Adding Machine, the musical (Lortel and Obie Awards for Best Direction for both), Orson's Shadow, Tribes and the current Really Really. He recently directed Sweet Bird of Youth at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and A Streetcar Named Desire at Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Writers Theatre of Chicago. He is a recipient of a 2010 MacArthur Fellowship.