She was the first girlfriend of Indiana Jones; he was the most recent older son of Willy Loman. They're Karen Allen and Kevin Anderson, and they're about to play two sides of a creepy love quadrangle in Speaking in Tongues, an English psychological thriller opening at Off Broadway's Gramercy Theatre, Nov. 18. Previews for the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Andrew Bovell's drama begin Oct. 26.
Speaking in Tongues is described in press materials as "a wonderful theatrical combination that is equal parts psychological thriller, murder mystery and partner-swapping satire." Mark Clements, artistic director of the UK's Derby Playhouse, directs. Author Bovell, who also penned 1996's Scenes from a Separation, is best known for scripting the film "Strictly Ballroom."
Three of the four Speaking in Tongues roles have been spoken for, including Long Wharf veteran Michel R. Gill, Anderson and Allen. Anderson most recently received a Tony nomination for playing Biff to Brian Dennehy's Willy in Death of a Salesman. Other stage credits include Orpheus Descending (opposite Vanessa Redgrave) and the London Sunset Boulevard. Allen, best known for her film work in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman and Animal House, starred in the Roundabout's revival of The Country Girl a decade ago.
Designed by Richard Hoover (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Speaking in Tongues is part of the Roundabout's New Play Initiative.
* On Broadway, the Roundabout is currently reviving George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, which opened July 12 to good reviews and has been extended a week to Sept. 9. Cherry Jones is the good salvation army major who must fight against her heritage as the daughter of a joyfully wicked (and maddeningly articulate) Victorian industrialist in the Shaw comedy. The play, directed by Daniel Sullivan (Jones' pilot in 2000's A Moon for the Misbegotten), began previews at the American Airlines Theatre on June 15. Jones plays opposite English actor David Warner, as evil-but entertaining Andrew Undershaft.
This is not Jones' first stab at the role. She told Time Out New York that she played the part in 1990 at Boston's A.R.T. Her other recent roles include Pride's Crossing (Lincoln Center Theater), The Night of the Iguana (Roundabout) and Tongue of a Bird (Public Theater).
That cast also includes Dana Ivey (The Death of Papa at CT's Hartford Stage), Zak Orth (Misalliance) and Denis O'Hare (Cabaret). (The latter will again be directed by Daniel Sullivan when Ten Unknowns moves from the Mitzi Newhouse to Broadway this fall).
Daniel Sullivan has done very well the past two season directing new works by contemporary authors, such as Proof, Ten Unknowns, Spinning Into Butter and Dinner With Friends. He won a 2001 Tony Award for Proof, which is still running on Broadway. This is his first stab at a classic since Moon.
Moliere's classic satire of religious hypocrisy, Tartuffe, will be presented at the American Airlines Theatre sometime this winter, according to a full page ad in the June 20 New York Times. No director or cast has been named.
Tartuffe will be the third selection of the current season to claim the AA Theatre as its home, after the current Major Barbara and this fall's revival of Clare Booth Luce's The Women.
Frequenters of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park saw a mounting of Moliere's comedy two summers ago. Mark Brokaw directed Dylan Baker in the title role of saint/lecher Tartuffe, who holds a household in thrall with his sanctimonious posturing. Also in the cast were Mary Testa, J. Smith-Cameron, Dana Ivey and Richard Kimbrough.
In other Roundabout season news, The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg, will also come to the Off-Broadway Gramercy Theatre venue. Directed by David Warren, that show opens a year from now, Aug. 1, 2002. The Dazzle concerns the eccentric Collier brothers, whose lives are forever changed by the entrance of a beautiful young socialite. A 1999 New York Stage and Film production featured Greenberg favorite Peter Frechette, as well as Reg Rogers and Francie Swift. Both Frechette and Rogers starred (at different times) in the Roundabout's mounting of Greenberg's Hurrah at Last.
Also already announced for the Roundabout's 2000-01 season are Sondheim's Assassins, directed by Joe Mantello, at the Music Box Theatre (opening Nov. 29); and, at the American Airlines Theatre, Clare Booth Luce's The Women (opening Nov. 8), directed by Scott Elliott and starring Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Johnston, Rue McClanahan and Jennifer Tilly, and the musical The Boys from Syracuse (opening March 7, 2002), directed by Scott Ellis, with an updated book by Nicky Silver.
— By David Lefkowitz
and Robert Simonson