James Lapine's Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank opened Dec. 4 at the Music Box Theatre. George Hearn, Sophie Hayden, Austin Pendleton, Harris Yulin, Linda Lavin and Natalie Portman star in the revival, which uses a revised script that emphasizes the darker aspects of the story more, and explores its sexuality and religious dimension in greater depth than the 1955 original.
For a look at the show's evolution on its way back to Broadway, check out TV's Charlie Rose show, Jan. 2, (11PM EST, NY's channel 13) where the host will interview Portman, Lavin, director Lapine and adaptor Kesselman in a segment taped Dec. 19. (The interview comes as the second half of a program that will start with a look at The Capeman).
Before Broadway, the production tried out in October at Boston's Colonial Theatre.
Lapine (Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods) directs the 1955 drama about a Dutch Jewish teenager hiding with her family from the Nazis during World War II. Sixteen-year-old actress Natalie Portman portrays Frank, who died in a concentration camp after her family was discovered and lived on in her diaries, which were found by the family that hid her. Portman reportedly regards Frank as a personal hero.
Hearn (La Cage Aux Folles), a two-time Tony winner , plays Anne's father, Otto Frank. Hayden (Tony nominee for The Most Happy Fella) plays Mrs. Frank. Pendleton (Fiddler on the Roof) plays Mr. Dussel; Yulin (The Visit) plays Mr. Van Daan and Lavin, who received a Tony Award for Neil Simon's Broadway Bound and is best known for starring in the 70's TV sitcom, "Alice," plays Mrs. Van Daan. Also in the cast are Jonathan Kaplan (Tony nominee as Jason in Falsettos) as Peter Van Daan, Jessica Walling as Miep, Philip Goodwin as Mr. Kraler, James Hallet and Peter Kybart. Rachel Miner had been playing Margot, but she sustained an ankle injury in Boston and, until she returns, the role is being played by Missy Yager.
The revival uses a revised script that "includes more frank material than the original, such as the young girl's sexual awakening," Variety reported. According to the Publicity Office, playwright Wendy Kesselman has adapted the Albert Hackett/Frances Goodrich drama with passages from the 1995 Doubleday volume, "The Diary Of A Young Girl: The Definitive Edition," which contains 30 percent more material than was originally published.
Portman, who had appeared previously in 1994's The Professional and 1996's Beautiful Girls, pulled out of a Robert Redford film in order to star in the revival. She appeared in the recent films Mars Attacks! and Woody Allen's Everybody Says I Love You but withdrew from The Horse Whisperer, directed by Redford, in order to do the revival.
Designers for the show include costumer Martin Pakledinaz (The Life), set designer Adrienne Lobel (Passion), lighting designer Brian MacDevitt (Master Class), and sound designer Dan Moses Schreier (Noise/Funk).
For tickets & information on The Diary Of Anne Frank at the Music Box Theatre, call (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line. For more information on the show itself, check out the website: Anne Frank.
Tickets are on sale via TeleCharge, (212) 239-6200. Also, student rush tickets are available one hour before curtain. Students with valid I.D. can buy up to two tickets for $20 each at the box office.