There may be two Wild Partys playing in New York, but the Broadway party of this night, April 5, is likely to occur at the Supper Club, where the producers and cast of The Real Thing are holding a benefit for London’s Donmar Warehouse, where the production originated.
The Real Thing will have an early curtain time (7 PM) at the Barrymore Theatre, followed by the party one door down, starting at 9:15. Expected at the evening are Audra McDonald, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, William H. Macy, Jane Horrocks and the two stars of True West, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly.
The Real Thing, the London revival of the Tom Stoppard play, arrived March 29 at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre and will officially open there April 17. (The Real Thing was to have moved into the Belasco on March 29, but with the Belasco's current tenant, James Joyce’s The Dead, now an open run, the Stoppard show was shifted over to the similar-sized Barrymore -- according to a production source, always the producers’ first choice of theatre).
Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle opened in the Donmar revival of Stoppard's 1982 comedy June 2, 1999 (following previews from May 27). They, alongside fellow Donmar-mates Sarah Woodward and Nigel Lindsay, are part of the Broadway company, alongside Joshua Henderson, Charlotte Parry and Oscar Pearce. The production, which ran through Aug. 7, 1999 and then played the West End’s Albery Theatre (Jan. 13-March 18), was sold out.
The Real Thing deals with love, marriage and adultery. In shifting perspectives, couples founder and reform, and joy and passion are acutely countered by pain and deception. Dillane, star of the feature film "Welcome to Sarajevo," plays Henry. Dillane returned to the Donmar following his role last year in Endgame. Ehle, who plays Annie, is best known for her film features such as the recently released "This Year's Love" and her television roles in serials such as BBC1's "Pride and Prejudice," for which she won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in 1996.
The Real Thing is directed by David Leveaux, newly appointed as an associate director of the Donmar Warehouse. Stoppard's comedy was his third production for the theatre, following the musical Nine in 1996 and the 1997 Olivier Award-winning production of Electra, starring Zoe Wanamaker, which also transferred to Broadway. He’s on tap to direct Desire Under the Elms for the Roundabout Theatre Company next season.
The Real Thing, is being produced on Broadway by Anita Waxman, Elizabeth Williams, Ron Kastner and Miramax Films.