April to Enchant U.S. in Fall 2004 Tour

News   April to Enchant U.S. in Fall 2004 Tour Enchanted April, the Matthew Barber play about Englishwomen transformed by a vacation in Italy, which started its run at the Belasco Theatre on April 8, will launch a national tour in fall 2004, producer Jeffrey Richards confirmed.

The tour will feature at least four of the Broadway stars: Jayne Atkinson, Molly Ringwald, Elizabeth Ashley and Michael Hayden. Atkinson was nominated for a Tony Award on May 12, as was the play itself.

The rest of the New York cast includes Michael Cumpsty, Patricia Conolly, Dagmara Dominczyk and Daniel Gerroll. Michael Wilson, Hartford Stage artistic director, stages the work.

The United States isn't the only country which will soon be treated to a taste of Tuscany. According to Richards, a dozen of so nations have shown interest in the property, including England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece, Australia and, or course, Italy. Also, 10 or so American regional theatres have asked about presenting the play. Those bookings will depend on how long the Broadway production runs and the itinerary of the coming tour.

Atkinson plays Lotty, the mousy, cloistered English housewife who, with Ringwald's quirky Rose, another bored wife, embarks on a bold excursion to Tuscany which transforms their dreary existences. Ashley is Mrs. Graves, the prideful matron who joins them.

The show claimed nine nominations from the Outer Critics Circle, including nods for Best Play and for actors Cumpsty, Atkinson and Gerroll. Also honored were director Michael Wilson, playwright Barber, set designer Tony Straiges, costume designer Jess Goldstein, and lighting designer Rui Rita. The adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1921 novel began previews at Hartford Stage way back on Feb. 24, 2000. The book has been adapted for Broadway before, however, playing the Morosco Theatre in 1925. Kane Campbell wrote that adaptation (the author's sole Broadway credit). It which played a mere 32 performances. Among the stars were Helen Gahagan, the actress turned politician who married Melvyn Douglas and lost the 1960 California Senate race to Richard Nixon.

The novel was made into a 1991 film starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Josie Lawrence and Polly Walker. The novel had been previously filmed in 1935.

John Gromada is composer and sound designer of the show.

Jeffrey Richards (A Thousand Clowns, Taller Than a Dwarf), Richard Gross, Ellen Berman, Irv Welzer and Fred Vogel produce.

For tickets, call (212) 239-6200.