The world premiere of David Auburn’s The Columnist celebrates its opening night April 25 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Starring two-time Tony Award winner John Lithgow and directed by Daniel Sullivan, the play ends its limited engagement on June 24.
A slew of guests are expected to attend the opening performance including Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Jane Curtin, Linda Lavin, David Hyde Pierce, Jack O’Brian, Benjamin Walker, John Turturro, Rebecca Luker, Marlo Thomas, Phil Donahue, Mamie Gummer, Lily Rabe, Matthew Lopez, Rachel York, Walter Bobbie, Carolyn Cantor, Liz Flahive, A.R. Gurney, Adriane Lenox, Lynn Nottage, Tony Roberts, Frances Sternhagen, Alfred Uhry and Kate Whorisky.
Set at a time when columnists are kings and Joseph Alsop (Lithgow) wears the crown, The Columnist paints a portrait of a man who is beloved, feared and courted in equal measure by the Washington political world at whose center he sits. As the 1960s dawn and America undergoes dizzying change, the intense political drama Joe is embroiled in becomes deeply personal as well.
The Columnist also features Tony nominee Stephen Kunken as journalist David Halberstam, Tony winner Boyd Gaines as Joseph’s brother Stewart, Margaret Colin as Susan Alsop, Grace Gummer as Joseph’s daughter Abigail, and Brian J. Smith as Andrei, a young Russian man.
The creative team for The Columnist includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Jess Goldstein (costume design), Kenneth Posner (lighting design), John Gromada (original music and sound design), Rocco DiSanti (projection design) and Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design).