Paul Rudd, Ed Asner, Michael Shannon are Broadway-bound in ‘Grace’

Paul Rudd in 2007.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon are teaming up for a Broadway production of “Grace,” a play by Craig Wright that is expected to open Oct. 4 in New York. The production will also star 82-year-old Ed Asner, returning to Broadway for the first time in more than 20 years.

“Grace” is a comedy-drama about a young religious couple who have traveled to Florida to open a chain of biblically themed motels. The couple (Rudd and Kate Arrington) encounter an embittered neighbor whose life has taken a tragic turn (Shannon) and a cantankerous pest exterminator (Asner.)

“Grace” received a production at the Pasadena Playhouse by the Furious Theatre Co. in 2006. It was also staged at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C., in 2004, and at the Northlight Theater in Chicago in 2006.

Chicago director Dexter Bullard will stage the play on Broadway. Bullard has worked with Wright and Shannon on several past productions in Chicago.


Wright is a playwright who has a number of TV writing credits to his name, including “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Brothers & Sisters.”

A Times reviewer gave “Grace” positive notices when it ran in Pasadena: “While sometimes upstaged by its own cleverness, this thoughtful piece effectively frames the potential catastrophic consequences that go with being a believer rather than a knower.”

Rudd previously appeared on Broadway alongside Julia Roberts in a 2006 production of “Three Days of Rain” by Richard Greenberg. Shannon, an Oscar nominee for “Revolutionary Road,” has acted in numerous Chicago stage productions and has also appeared in off-Broadway shows.

Shannon will be appearing on Broadway this fall around the same time as his “Take Shelter” costar Jessica Chastain, who will star in a revival of “The Heiress.”


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Writer Craig Wright (‘Six Feet Under,’ ‘Lost,’ ‘Dirty Sexy Money’) just gets busier