Tony winner Stockard Channing will take a brief hiatus from Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities to film an untitled ABC pilot co-starring Mandy Moore. Channing leaves the production March 13 and is set to return to the Booth Theatre April 6. During that time, Channing’s understudy Lauren Klein will assume the role of matriarch Polly Wyeth.
Directed by Joe Mantello, Other Desert Cities also stars Judith Light, Stacy Keach, Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Marvel. The play follows once-promising novelist Brooke Wyeth (Marvel) as she returns home after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her conservative parents (Channing and Keach), brother (Kirk) and aunt (Light). When Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family’s history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil.
Channing originated the role of Polly Wyeth in last year’s off-Broadway production of Other Desert Cities at Lincoln Center. Channing won a Tony Award in 1985 for her role in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. Her other Broadway credits include The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, Pal Joey, The Little Foxes and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her film and TV credits include Grease, The West Wing, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, The First Wives Club, Practical Magic and The Matthew Shepard Story.