Miller’s highly anticipated satire opens at Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic. Altman, who is much better known for his films than his stage work, employs unconventional methods. In a recent interview for The Guardian, he said that he’d only read the play once before starting rehearsals.
In the production, Matthew Modine plays Skip, a New York executive, and Academy Award winner Maximilian Schell portrays General Felix Barriaux. The cast also features Neve Campbell as Jeanine.
Modine appeared in the 2004 world premiere of Miller’s Finishing the Picture at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. His film credits include “Married to the Mob,” “Full Metal Jacket” and Altman’s “Short Cuts.”
Schell won his Best Actor Oscar in 1962 for “Judgement at Nuremberg,” a stage revival of which saw the performer’s most recent appearance on Broadway in 2001.
Campbell came to prominence in the film “Scream” and also worked with Altman on his 2003 movie “The Company.” British actor John Wood (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Travesties, Tartuffe, Amadeus) plays Jeanine’s father, Shultz. Jane Adams (An Inspector Calls, The Crucible and Enchanted April) takes on the role of film director Emily, and Peter McDonald (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, A Lie of the Mind, The Wexford Trilogy) plays Stanley.
Resurrection Blues is set in a South American dictatorship where a messianic rebel leader is condemned to be crucified. A New York production company is dispatched to televise the execution.
Miller’s penultimate play received its world premiere in 2002 at the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, though Miller was still working on the black comedy in the months leading up to his death in February 2005.
Set design for the London production is by Robin Wagner (The Producers).
Altman, whose movies include “M*A*S*H," “Nashville,” “Short Cuts,” “The Player” and “Gosford Park,” jointly holds the record for being nominated five times for a Best Director Oscar without winning. But the director will finally get his Academy Award at this year’s Oscar ceremony on March 5 when he receives an honorary Oscar.