There are three great actresses whose names include “Mary” and “Louise,” each with a different spelling and all associated with the Manhattan Theatre Club, where the new comedy Ripcord will have its world premiere in the fall. Mary-Louise Parker, who recently earned triumphal reviews for her performance in Heisenberg at MTC, has nothing at all to do with Ripcord. Marylouise Burke is starring in Ripcord. Mary Louise Wilson was also set to star in Ripcord but has withdrawn, according to today’s announcement from the company, “due to the extension of her book tour for her new memoir.” This is a blessing for entertainment reporters and critics, as it leaves just one, single-cap hyphen-free Marylouise to worry about.
MTC also announced that former Saturday Night Live regular Rachael Dratch, Two And A Half Men co-star Holland Taylor and Glenn Fitzgerald — whose credits include Madame Secretary and The Sixth Sense — also have joined the cast of Ripcord, Taylor replacing the book-touring Wilson. That leaves only the matter of the playwright and the director. Ripcord is by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire. The director is Tony and Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce. Six names, one oddly placed hyphen.
The company describes the comedy, commissioned by MTC through the Bank of America New American Play Program, this way: A sunny room on an upper floor is prime real estate in the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility, so when the cantankerous Abby (Taylor) is forced to share her quarters with new-arrival Marilyn (Burke), she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary…As heartfelt as it is deliciously inappropriate, this hilarious world premiere marks the author’s sixth collaboration with MTC.
The creative team includes Alexander Dodge (scenic design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Jennifer von Mayrhauser (costume design), John Gromada (original music and sound design), and Thomas Schall (fight director). Additional casting will be announced shortly.
Ripcord will begin previews September 29 and opens October 20 at New York City Center – Stage I, MTC’s off-Broadway flagship space.