Art is enjoying a charmed existence on Broadway. Only recently, it was revealed that the Yasmina Reza hit play had broken the weekly box office record at the Royale Theatre, grossing $429,038. Now, the show's backers have announced that the three-character, one-set play recouped its investment on Apr. 26, after less than three months of performances.
Art was named best play by the New York Critics' Circle, and is up for 3 Tony awards, including best play. The play began Broadway previews Feb. 12 with Victor Garber, Alan Alda and Alfred Molina starring as the three men whose friendship is thrown into turmoil over, of all things, a painting. The play's debate about a piece of modern art turns into an exploration of the nature of friendship, male friendship in particular. Garber plays Serge, the art lover who purchases a canvas that is, for all practical purposes, completely white. His longtime friend, Marc (Alda), is infuriated by what he sees as the stupidity of such a move. His anger causes him to question the entire basis of their friendship. Molina plays Yvan, their mutual friend, who tries to mediate, but finds himself caught in the crossfire.
Garber's stage work includes originating the roles of Antony in Sweeney Todd and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. He was Tony-nominated four times, for Deathtrap, Little Me, Lend Me A Tenor and the Damn Yankees revival. He played Jesus in the film of Godspell. He's currently prominent in the film Titanic, playing the ship's designer, Thomas Andrews.
The son of Robert Alda, the original Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Alan Alda got his start in theatre, earning a Tony nomination for The Apple Tree. He earned international fame appearing as Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running TV comedy "M*A*S*H."
Molina came to fame playing the lover (and killer) of playwright Joe Orton in the Orton film biography Prick Up Your Ears. For tickets: (212) 239-6200. Outside metro NY area: (800) 432-7250. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.
Christopher Hampton's English translation of Reza's hit French play opened Oct. 15 at Wyndham's Theatre in London. Matthew Warchus directed and will again on Broadway. Though the London mounting first starred Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay, that production has continued its smash status through numerous cast replacements.
David Pugh and actor Sean Connery are co-producers of the London production. The Broadway production will be directed by Matthew Warchus, designed by Mark Thompson, and produced by Pugh and Connery with Joan Cullman.