Casts Announced for WTF Productions

Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Far From Heaven

By: - Jun 21, 2012

Williamstown Theatre Festival Artistic Director Jenny Gersten announced today the full cast and creative teams for Last of the Red Hot Lovers, which will be presented on the Nikos Stage from July 11 through July 22 (opening July 12), and the Preview Production of Far From Heaven, which will play the Main Stage from July 19 through July 29 (opening July 21).  Both shows begin rehearsals today in preparation for their runs at the Festival.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon is directed by Jessica Stone (WTF’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum). In the role of Bobbi Michele, Leslie Bibb (Iron Man) joins the previously announced Brooks Ashmanskas (WTF’s She Stoops to Conquer; Promises, Promises) as Barney Cashman, Susie Essman (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) as Elaine Navazio, and Lili Taylor (WTF’s A Doll’s House, HBO’s “Six Feet Under”) as Jeanette Fisher. 

Meet Barney Cashman (Ashmanskas). He's a middle-aged restaurant manager who has a very nice married existence. But he's tired of existing; he wants to live — before it's too late. Maybe one afternoon of passion could be so exhilarating, so vivid, that the memory alone would sate his desire for more. Three women, three afternoons, three shots at living in Technicolor. As she did with her lauded WTF production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, director Jessica Stone reveals the humanity and the hilarity in Last of the Red Hot Lovers, this oft-overlooked early work of Neil Simon.

The creative team includes Alexander Dodge  (Scenic Design), Philip Rosenberg  (Lighting Design), Clint Ramos  (Costume Design), and Drew Levy (Sound Design) and Aaron Rhyne (Projections Design).  Deanna Weiner is the Production Stage Manager.

Billed as a Preview Production, Far From Heaven at WTF will allow the creative team the ability to make changes over the course of the run to further develop the musical.  Far From Heaven, a new musical based on the acclaimed, award-winning 2002 Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture written and directed by Todd Haynes, features a book by Tony Award-winner Richard Greenberg and an original score by the Tony nominated team of Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics).  The show, directed by Michael Greif (Next to Normal, Rent), comes to the Festival under the aegis of a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Playwrights Horizons for the development of new musicals in partnership with a regional theater, wholly within the non-profit system from start to finish.  The show will receive a run at Playwrights Horizons in New York City in Spring 2013.  Joining the previously announced cast in the role of Frank Whitaker is Steven Pasquale of FX’s “Rescue Me” and NBC’s upcoming series “Do No Harm”.  The cast also includes JB Adams (Annie) as Morris Farnsworth, Nancy Anderson (A Class Act) as Eleanor Fine, Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Rachel Getting Married) as Sybil, Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) as Raymond Deagan, Sarah Jane Everman (Promises, Promises) as Doreen/Connie/Patti Page, Alison Fraser (Gypsy) as Mona Lauder, Kate Hamilton as Nancy, Chris Hoch (La Cage aux Folles) as Stan Fine, Crystal Lucas-Perry (WTF’s A Streetcar Named Desire) as Esther, Preston Martin as Blond Son, Alexa Niziak as Janice Whitaker, four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara (Nice Work If You Can Get It, South Pacific) as Cathy Whitaker, Charlie Plummer as David Whitaker, Michael James Shaw as Musician/Gus, Mary Stout (Jane Eyre) as Mrs. Leacock, and Tony Yazbeck (Gypsy) as Dick Dawson.

Cathy Whitaker (O’Hara) seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel — with incendiary consequences. With a book by Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg and a lush score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, intolerance, and a woman grappling with her own identity in a society on the verge of great upheaval.

The creative team boasts Allen Moyer (Scenic Design), Catherine Zuber (Costume Design), Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), and Peter Nigrini (Projections Design).  Larry Yurman (Grey Gardens) is the Music Director and orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza).  Judith Schoenfeld is the Production Stage Manager.

As previously announced, the complete 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival season runs from June 26 – August 19, 2012 and includes Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a Preview Production of the new musical Far From Heaven, and a new translation of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country on the Main Stage, with Lucy Boyle’s The Blue Deep, Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, and Katori Hall’s WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! on the Nikos Stage.   The season will also include a special workshop production of David Byrne’s Here Lies Love, which will play at nearby MASS MoCA.


Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America's finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs. While best known for our acclaimed productions, WTF is also home to one of the nation’s top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theatre artists and administrators. Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011.


The Williamstown Theatre Festival Box Office will open on June 5th, 2012 at which point tickets may be purchased online (

), by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.


The Festival's Nikos Stage is an intimate 173-seat venue that regularly sells out in advance from within the pool of Festival donors.







The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by David Hyde Pierce

June 26 – July 14, 2012


Far From Heaven

Book by Richard Greenberg

Music by Scott Frankel

Lyrics by Michael Korie

Directed by Michael Greif

July 19 – 29, 2012


A Month in the Country

By Ivan Turgenev

Translated by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Directed by Richard Nelson

August 1 – 19, 2012




The Blue Deep

By Lucy Boyle

Directed by Bob Balaban

June 27 – July 8, 2012


Last of the Red Hot Lovers

By Neil Simon

Directed by Jessica Stone

July 11 – 22, 2012


The Elephant Man

By Bernard Pomerance

Directed by Scott Ellis

July 25 – August 5, 2012



By Katori Hall

Directed by May Adrales

August 8 – 19, 2012





Here Lies Love

Written by David Byrne

Music by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim

Directed by Alex Timbers

June 20 – 24, 2012



At Poker Flats

The Valley of Fear

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Steve Lawson

Directed by Lila Neugebauer

July 11 – 14, July 17 – 20, 2012

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