Shenkman, only recently viewed a rising actor, played Hal in Proof Off-Broadway at MTC and then on Broadway (where he and the entire company were Tony nommed). He snagged the choice role of neurotic Louis in the HBO film, "Angels in America," introducing his work to millions.
Shenkman replaces Liev Schreiber in the MTC revival of Donald Margulies' Sight Unseen, about questions of identity and authenticity, personal and professional, in the 1980s art world. Schreiber had the opportunity to direct a film and bowed out of the Broadway run at the Biltmore, despite being part of MTC's 2003-04 marketing campaign for the new Broadway space, the Biltmore Theatre.
Biltmore previews for Sight Unseen begin May 6 and opening is set for May 25.
Laura Linney, who appeared in the original 1992 New York run of the play, produced Off-Broadway by MTC, returns to the work, but in a different role.
This is the Broadway debut of the drama by the playwright who would later win the Pulitzer Prize for Dinner With Friends. Shenkman will play Jonathan Waxman, a painter being honored with a retrospective exhibition, prompting him to look at his life, work and relationships. Call it the portrait of an artist at a crossroads.
In the 1992 MTC run, Linney played a German arts journalist, Grete, who grills Jonathan about his work. In the revival (marking the play's Broadway debut), she is his ex-lover, Patricia. Flashbacks and present-tense spice the play, which was so embraced by New York Times writer Frank Rich at the time that it's a wonder the staging didn't leap to Broadway a decade ago.