Parsons was joined by Jane Krakowski, Rachel York, Brooks Ashmanskas (Jeff Baird), Tracee Chimo (Tessie Kearns), John Cullum (Amos G. Gashwiler), Daniel Davis (J. Lester Montague), Randy Graff (Casting Director), Matt Harrington (Stage Directions), Mark Hartman (Pianist), Richard Kind (Sigmund Rosenblatt), Nick Mills (His Cameraman), Rory O’Malley (Elmer Huff), Debra Jo Rupp (Mrs. Patterson), Peter Scolari (Weller), David Turner (Harold Parmalee) and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman (Max The Violinist).
The reading was part of a tradition at Roundabout, offering star-studded benefit readings in order to support the range of programming at the theatre. Past readings have included Intimate Apparel, Assassins, She Loves Me and A Little Night Music.
Here's how Merton of the Movies is billed: "It’s the golden era of silent motion pictures, and no one loves them more than Merton Gill, a naïve store clerk from a small town in Illinois. After taking an acting class—and determined to become a great dramatic actor—Merton uses his life’s savings to head to Hollywood. There’s only one problem: he can’t act. When a plucky young starlet and a manipulative movie executive see how inadvertently funny Merton’s earnest efforts are, they cast him in a comedy (that they tell him is a drama) and hilarity ensues!"