Producer Stuart Thompson announced October 18 that John Guare’s award-winning Six Degrees of Separation, which made its New York premiere in 1990, will return to Broadway this spring at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Trip Cullman (Significant Other, Punk Rock) will direct the production, which is set to open at the Barrymore in April 2017. The limited engagement will run 15 weeks.
The cast will be headed by seven-time Emmy Award winner Allison Janney (Mom, The Girl on the Train) as Ouisa and Tony Award winner John Benjamin Hickey (The Normal Heart, Manhattan) as Flan.
Full casting, design team, production dates, and ticket information will be announced at a later date.
Inspired by a true story, the play, according to press notes, “follows the trail of a young black con man, Paul, who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple, Ouisa and Flan Kittredge, saying he knows their son at college. Claiming he’s the son of actor Sidney Poitier, Paul tells them he has just been mugged and all his money is gone. Captivated by Paul's intelligence (and the possibility of appearing in his father’s new movie), the Kittredges invite him to stay overnight. After finding him in bed with a hustler, their picture of Paul changes, and Ouisa and Flan turn detective trying to piece together the connections that gave him access to their lives. Meanwhile, Paul's cons unexpectedly lead him into darker territory as his lies begin to catch up with him.”
Six Degrees of Separation premiered Off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater May 16, 1990, before moving to the Vivian Beaumont Theater November 8, 1990. The play received the 1991 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, an Obie Award for the playwright, and the 1993 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. It was a finalist for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. The original Broadway cast featured Stockard Channing as Ouisa, John Cunningham as Flan, Courtney B. Vance as Paul, and Kelly Bishop as Kitty.
Janney made her Broadway debut in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, for which she earned the Outer Critics Circle Award and Clarence Derwent Award. She also appeared in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, receiving her first Tony Award nomination and winning the Outer Critics Circle Award. Janney was last seen on Broadway in the musical 9 to 5, for which she earned a Tony nomination and won the Drama Desk Award.
Hickey won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and a Drama Desk Award for his performance in The Normal Heart. His other credits include Mary Stuart, The Crucible, Cabaret, and Love! Valour! Compassion!, for which he won an Obie Award. Earlier this year, he was back onstage in Peter Parnell’s Dada Woof Papa Hot at Lincoln Center for director Scott Ellis.
Guare’s plays include Landscape of the Body, A Free Man Of Color (Pulitzer Prize finalist), House of Blue Leaves (Obie/NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play), Six Degrees of Separation (Obie/NY Drama Critics Circle Award, London's Olivier Award for Best Play), Two Gentlemen of Verona (NY Drama Critics Circle Award, Tony Award for Best Musical), Muzeeka (Obie), Sweet Smell of Success (Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical), and Lydie Breeze.
The Broadway revival is produced by Stuart Thompson and Tim Levy.