"A strange and wondrous coincidence." That's how a rep for Brooklyn's BAM Majestic Theater tabbed the casting of Kate Mailer and Rebecca Miller--daughters of those long-warring literary lions Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller--in its upcoming production of Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard."
Bad blood's been bubbling for years, what with Mailer's claims that Miller peaked with "Death of a Salesman" (Mailer also once tabbed Miller "the stingy, the small-minded"), and Miller's ire with Mailer for writing a bio about his once-wife Marilyn Monroe (whom Mailer never personally knew).
No wonder the publicists at the Majestic admit they were at first "wringing our hands when we learned who (director) Peter Brook had cast."
With a new translation by Elisaveta Lavrova, "Cherry Orchard" features Brian Dennehy, Linda Hunt and Natasha Parry, with Kate Mailer playing maid Dunyasha and Rebecca Miller doing Mme. Ranevskaya's daughter, Anya.
About the lions' cubs: They're each in their mid-20s. With credits. In fact, Miller will be seen in the upcoming NBC-TV movie "The Murder of Mary Phagan." Mailer recently originated the role of a punk rocker in Off-Broadway's "Rainbow's Return." She also once played . . . Marilyn Monroe, in "Strawhead" (penned by her dad) for the Actors Studio.
To hear a spokesman for the new production tell it, "The girls seem to be getting along fine."
Opening night is Jan. 23, and both dads are expected to be in the audience.
As the Majestic rep put it: "I don't mind telling you, we're looking forward to the photo opportunities."