One of the past season's few financially successful non-musicals, The Judas Kiss, will end its scheduled Broadway run Aug. 2, after 7 previews and 101 regular performances.
David Hare's play stars Liam Neeson as Oscar Wilde, debating what to do on the eve of his capture by the authorities, and then, in the second act, spending his declining years with his horridly fickle boyfriend, Lord Alfred.
Judas Kiss was rushed into production by London's Almeida Theatre Company and won many positive reviews (and notoriety for some nude scenes) there this past winter. The play was bumped up to a Mar. 12 opening in London at the West End Playhouse Theatre (with a closing date of Apr. 18) so it could make the transfer to Broadway. Dashing across the Atlantic, the production began Broadway previews at the Broadhurst Theatre Apr. 23 and opened Apr. 29, the deadline day for 1998 Tony eligibility, but received no nominations.
In addition to film star Neeson, who appeared on Broadway in 1993 in Anna Christie with his now-wife Natasha Richardson, The Judas Kiss also features Tom Hollander as Bosie; other cast members include Peter Capaldi, Alex Walkinshaw, Richard Clarke, Stina Nielsen and Daniel Serafini-Sauli (Three American cast members appeared in the London mounting with three London actors who made the trip over for Broadway). Richard Eyre directs.
Producers for the NY production are Robert Fox, Roger Berlind, Joan Cullman, Scott Rudin and the Shubert Organization (the team that produced last year's critically acclaimed British import Skylight, also written by Hare). Designing The Judas Kiss are Bob Crowley (set & costumes), Mark Henderson (lighting) and John A. Leonard (sound), with George Fenton providing musical underscoring.
It's a boom time for Oscar Wilde, theatrically speaking -- a new play about the writer, Gross Indecency, remains a hit Off-Broadway, and the Peter Hall production of Wilde's great comedy about love and forgiveness, An Ideal Husband, has returned to the West End after a successful Broadway run and is still drawing crowds and acclaim from returning critics some six years after it first opened.
Judas Kiss author David Hare is also having a banner season: His play Amy's View, starring Judi Dench, transferred to the West End in January following sold-out performances at the National Theatre; and his adaptation of Chekhov's Ivanov, which was seen at the Almeida, recently wound up an acclaimed run on Broadway starring Kevin Kline.
For tickets to The Judas Kiss at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 West 44th St., call (212) 239-6200. You can also buy them at the box office.