Bring on the samovar!
Alan Bates and Frank Langella begin previews in the Broadway production of Russian master Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool, as adapted by Mike Poulton, March 8, after a tryout Feb. 22-March 3 in Stamford, CT. The opening at the Music Box Theatre will be April 2.
This the Broadway debut of the Turgenev play, about a cash poor nobleman confronting his wealthy neighbor. Turgenev (1818-83) is known for his plays and novels. His stage masterpiece is A Month in the Country.
The production also stars Bates' son, Benedick Bates, Enid Graham (a Tony Award nominee for Honour), Beth Bartley, Timothy Doyle, Ann Ducati, Patrick Hallahan, Jeremy Hollingworth, George Morfogen (Uncle Bob), John Newton, Edwin C. Owens, Obie Award-winner Lola Pashalinski (Kushner's Dybbuk and the Central Park Skin of Our Teeth) and Jeff Talbott.
Fortune's Fool is a rarely-staged Turgenev work adapted by Mike Poulton, known for his Chekhov adaptations (Broadway's 2000 Uncle Vanya with Derek Jacobi and Laura Linney). A limited run of 96 performances is planned. Noted film director and Tony winner Arthur Penn ("Bonnie and Clyde") helms, with Jane Greenwood creating the costumes, Brian Nason (1776) the lighting, Brian Ronan (Cabaret) the sound and John Arnone the set. Actor Bates is a Tony winner for 1973's Butley and a film star via "An Unmarried Woman" and "Women in Love."
He recently donated £50,000 to The Actors' Centre in Covent Garden. It was a display of both generosity and family loyalty in helping refurbish the Tristan Bates Theatre, the Centre's auditorium. The theatre, which Bates helped found, is named in honor of his son, a model, who died at age 19, some 10 years ago, of complications following an asthma attack when working in Japan. Bates's other son, Tristan's twin, is the aforementioned Benedick Bates who appeared earlier this year at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, in Thelma Holt's production of Noel Coward's Semi Monde. Before Fortune's Fool he toured with his father in a stage version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray.
Langella played husband to Joan Collins' wife in the West End bow of Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo, retitled Over the Moon for English audiences unfamiliar with the Great Lakes city. Langella left the production after only a brief stay in the comedy. The actor's last Broadway credit was Present Laughter, directed by Scott Elliott. His most recent New York appearance was as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
Graham, who came to the fore in the Jane Alexander vehicle, Honour, has been a frequent Off-Broadway presence since, including the recent Psych and stints in revivals of Look Back in Anger and Crimes of the Heart.
Poulton's play is being produced by SFS Productions (Julian Schlossberg, Roy L. Furman and Ben Sprecher), Ted Tulchin, Aaron Levy, Peter May, Bob Boyett, James Fantaci. Associate producers are Rita Gam & Jill Furman.
For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.