It didn't take long after the UK's Donmar Warehouse announced their 2002 season for New York producers to snatch up the most promising properties for 2003 on Broadway. Anita Waxman and Elizabeth Williams have made clear their intention to bring the Donmar's stagings of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to the Great White Way following the two plays' London bows.
The engagement would be a starry one. Nicole Kidman returns to the Donmar (where she scored a sensation in The Blue Room) to star in a the double-bill, as Yelena in Uncle Vanya and Olivia in Twelfth Night. Simon Russell Beale, whose Hamlet graced BAM earlier this year, would play Vanya and Malvolio. Outgoing Donmar artistic director Sam Mendes would direct both.
The two classics will run at the Donmar from September to December. The shows would then jump the Atlantic for a spring 2003 bow.
Broadway has recently seen revivals of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, both featuring big names. Derek Jacobi starred in the former, a Roundabout Theatre Company effort, in 2000. And Helen Hunt, Paul Rudd, Philip Bosco and Kyra Sedgwick all acted in the Shakespeare at Lincoln Center Theater.
According to Variety, Waxman and Williams also want to bring over Christopher Hampton's Tales from Hollywood and David Mamet's Boston Marriage, both Donmar projects. Phyllida Lloyd would direct the latter. Waxman and Williams like their English fare well. They were behind the Tony-winning Broadway transfer of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing and the current hit rendering of Michael Frayn's Noises Off.
Sam Mendes has announced that his association with the Donmar Warehouse, the off-West End Covent Garden theatre that he has turned into one of the most successful and fashionable in London over a ten year period, is to end.
His resignation as Artistic Director is to take effect in December 2002. Leaving the Donmar will enable him to concentrate on theatre and film production, the latter being something he has been increasingly involved with since his Oscar-winning success with "American Beauty." His latest film effort, "The Road to Perdition," starring Tom Hanks, will be released in early 2002.