Revolving cast door adds shine to 'Gray'
Prevues begin Friday on Stephen Lang's "Beyond Glory," written by and starring Lang and directed by Robert Falls, for the Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre. A Lang performance that still sears in the memory is when he played Col. Jessep in 1989's "A Few Good Men" with Tom Hulce. That's the role Jack Nicholson played in the 1992 film. … Tonight, Charles Busch temporarily joins the ensemble cast of "Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell" at the Minetta Lane, part of a policy by which a rotating list of guests have been joining the show's permanent cast (including Kathleen Chalfant) in reading the works of storyspinner-monologuist Gray. The show has been running off-Broadway since March 6 with its rotating guests including Estelle Parsons, Richard Kind, Josh Lucas, Bruce Vilanch and Fisher Stevens. Busch appears through June 3, followed by Whoopi Goldberg (June 5), David Boreanaz of "Bones" (June 6-10) and Christopher Gorham of "Ugly Betty" (June 12-17). Goldberg's appearance will coincide with what would have been Gray's 66th birthday. That June 5 performance will benefit several charities and include the presentation of the second annual Spalding Gray Award, which is given to a promising avant-garde artist or company. Bette Midler will be the honorary chair for the birthday event. … "No put money in show business." That was the credo of the great Chief Sitting Bull, at least according to the script of Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun." That's definitely no bull, but you won't hear investment moans coming from the backers of the current revival of Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten." The drama, capitalized at $2.4 million, recouped all its production costs after only 52 performances at the Brooks Atkinson. Toplining Kevin Spacey and Eve Best and directed by Howard Davies, "Moon" is scheduled to run through June 10, the same day Tonys are awarded. (Best is a nominee; Spacey and Davies are not.) … Also closing June 10: "Journey's End," one of the finest (and best-acted) dramas on the Broadway boards this season. A genuine hit in its London revival and critically acclaimed when it opened here, "Journey's" folds its tent after only a four-month New York run and, unfortunately, lost a bundle. … It's hard to top this one: Shirley Jones — who first shot to prominence when she played the ultimate musical heroine in the 1955 movie version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" — will be spending June 19-July 1 in a Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera legit revival of that famed show, this time playing the role of the butter-churning matriarch Aunt Eller, created by Betty Garde on Broadway in 1943 and played in Jones' movie version by Charlotte Greenwood. While in Pennsylvania, Jones also will receive the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Music Theatre on June 2 at the Pittsburgh CLO Guild's Pink Frolic Ball. Previous recipients include Mary Martin, Julie Andrews, Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gwen Verdon and Bernadette Peters. … David Straithairn will be making a return to the Broadway stage when he replaces Victor Slezak during the final week of the Epic Theatre Center's production of Zak Berkman's play "Beauty on the Vine," which runs through June 3 at the Clurman Theatre on 42nd Street's Theatre Row.