Stage, film and TV veteran Ron Rifkin will return to off-Broadway next week in one of the major roles he created, that of an aging boutique publisher in conflict with his children about the future of the esteemed house, in Jon Robin Baitz’s The Substance Of Fire. Rifkin, a regular on Baitz’s TV series Brothers And Sisters, played Isaac Geldhardt in the original Playwrights Horizons production of Substance 22 years ago, winning Obie, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards for the performance. Rifkin won a Tony for his featured performance in the 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret.
The current Substance revival is being presented by Second Stage Theater, where Geldhardt is being played by John Noble. The Sleepy Hollow star will be out May 20-23 for filming of the show, and Rifkin, who also starred in the film of Substance of Fire, agreed to step in. The revival is staged by Trip Cullman and also stars Halley Feiffer as Gelhardt’s strong-willed daughter, a role created by Sarah Jessica Parker.