John Lithgow is set to direct the off-Broadway run of Everything’s Fine, the one-man show from Academy Award and BAFTA nominee Douglas McGrath.
The autobiographical play recounts the actor, writer and director’s life, starting at the age of 14 in Midland, Texas, the town made famous by the 1987 well rescue of “Baby Jessica.” The Emma and Nicholas Nickleby screenwriter will detail some of his most significant remembrances, including the courtship of his one-eyed father and his mother — the latter of whom worked at Harper’s Bazaar for Diana Vreeland and became pals with Andy Warhol — and an eighth-grade teacher who changed McGrath’s life in the most unexpected way.
Everything’s Fine will mark McGrath’s first New York stage performance in more than 25 years. The show serves as Lithgow’s return to directing after more than four decades.
“This is a high wire act of a play that alternately delights and blindsides you with emotion,” two-time Tony winner Lithgow said. “Doug is a very funny man, sharing a deeply personal story that leaves listeners slack-jawed. The intimate DR2 Theatre is the perfect home for it, and we cannot wait for New York audiences to discover the secrets of Everything’s Fine.”
The world premiere is set to open its limited run engagement on Oct. 13 at the DR2 Theatre, with previews slated to begin Sept. 28. Tickets are currently on sale at Telecharge.com.
Daryl Roth, a 13-time Tony Award winner, and Emmy winner Tom Werner are producing. Set design is by two-time Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty, with costume design by Tony Award winner Linda Cho, lighting design by Caitlin Smith Rapoport and sound design by Emma Wilk. Amy Rauchwerger will serve as the production stage manager.
McGrath, an author and essayist for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, got his writing start on Saturday Night Live in the early ’80s. In addition to writing the book for the 2014 Tony-winning production Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, he co-wrote both the Oscar-nominated film and Tony-nominated musical versions of Bullets Over Broadway.
McGrath wrote and directed the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, and Toni Colette-led Emma, and pulled double-duty again for 2006’s Infamous, based on George Plimpton’s 1997 novel about Truman Capote during the years he wrote In Cold Blood. He’s also appeared in Quiz Show, Michael Clayton and HBO’s Girls.
Onscreen, six-time Emmy winner Lithgow is known for his work on 3rd Rock From the Sun, Dexter, Terms of Endearment, Footloose, Shrek and the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon. He earned his first of two Tony awards at 27 with his 1973 Broadway stage debut in David Storey’s The Changing Room, following years of a directing career staging works at McCarter Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Baltimore Center Stage and the Phoenix Theater Company in New York.
Lithgow has since appeared in several Broadway productions, including M. Butterfly and Sweet Smell of Success, along with performances with The Royal Shakespeare Company and The National Theatre in England. He staged his own one-man show Stories by Heart at both the Lincoln Center and the Roundabout Theater, a production that served as the inspiration for McGrath approaching him to direct Everything’s Fine.