Second Stage Theater Sets Broadway Debut Of Tracy Letts’ ‘Linda Vista’

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The New York premiere of Linda Vista, the latest work from Pulitzer and Tony winning August: Osage County playwright Tracy Letts, will begin previews Sept. 19 in a Second Stage Theater production at the Hayes Theatre, the company’s Broadway home. Steppenwolf’s Dexter Bullard will direct, with an opening night set for Oct. 10.

The play (pictured at its West Coast premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in January), is one of five Second Stage productions announced today for the company’s 2019-20 season. In addition to Linda Vista, the line-up includes two Broadway stagings (the New York premiere of Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons, and the first major New York revival of Richard Greenberg’s Tony Award-winning 2002 play Take Me Out) and two Off Broadway world premiere stagings (Will Eno’s The Underlying Chris and Alexis Scheer’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord).

Letts’ Linda Vista is described by Second Stage as “a brutally comedic look at Wheeler, a 50-year-old divorcee in the throes of a mid-life spiral. Just out of his ex-wife’s garage and into a place of his own, Wheeler starts on a path toward self-discovery — navigating blind dates, old friends, and new love. Full of opinions, yet short on self- examination, Wheeler must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.”

Though Letts is himself an actor – he co-stars with Annette Bening in this spring’s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons – casting was not announced for Linda Vista or the other productions.

The other Broadway productions at the Hayes, announced today by Second Stage’s Carole Rothman, President and Artistic Director, and Casey Reitz, Executive Director:

  • Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl, directed by Leigh Silverman (who directed this season’s hit Broadway play Lifespan of a Fact starring Daniel Radcliffe). Previews begin December 20, with opening night on January 23. Co-commissioned by Williamstown Theatre Festival and Second Stage Theater, Wohl’s play tells the story of Bill and Nancy, who “have spent fifty full years as husband and wife. They practically breathe in unison, and can anticipate each other’s every sigh, snore and sneeze. But just as they settle comfortably into their new home in Grand Horizons, the unthinkable happens: Nancy suddenly wants out. As their two adult sons struggle to cope with the shocking news, they are forced to question everything they assumed about the people they thought they knew best.
  • Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg, directed by Scott Ellis. Previews begin March 31, opening night is April 23. The play, which won the Tony for Best Play in 2003, follows a baseball star who comes out of the closet, forcing center fielder to face some hostile teammates, fraught friendships and the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution.

The Off Broadway productions announced today:

  • The Underlying Chris by Will Eno (The Realistic Joneses; Thom Pain based on nothing), director to be announced. World premiere. Previews begin October 29 at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater, opening November 21. “A life-affirming and high-spirited look at how a person comes into their identity, and how sometimes it’s life’s tiniest moments that most profoundly change our lives.” Co-commissioned by Center Theatre Group and Second Stage Theater;
  • Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer, director to be announced. World premiere. Previews begin Sept. 11 at Second Stage’s McGinn/Cazale Theater, opening Sept. 24. “A gang of teenage girls gathers in an abandoned treehouse to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar. Are they messing with the actual spirit of the infamous cartel kingpin? Or are they really just messing with each other? A rollercoaster ride through the danger and damage of girlhood – the teenage wasteland has never been so much twisted fun.” Co-production with WP Theater.

Two additional Off Broadway productions remain to be announced.

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