With an opening night audience expected to include David Bowie, Cherry Jones, Eileen Heckart and Amy Irving, Harold Pinter’s Betrayal opens its star-studded revival Nov. 14 at the American Airlines Theatre. Juliette Binoche, Liev Schreiber and John Slattery began previews in the Roundabout Theatre Company production Oct. 20.
Staged by David Leveaux, Betrayal is the second show to go into the Roundabout’s new home, following the Oct. 8 close of The Man Who Came to Dinner.
Pinter's classic of reversed chronology is a razor-sharp drama involving marital infidelity and the playwright's keen observations about the dynamics of human relationships. It tells the story of a couple's relationship from the present all the way back to their first encounter.
Schreiber starred, unscathed, as Hamlet in a much-reviled Public Theater production last season. Other credits include In the Summer House and numerous film roles. Binoche won an Oscar for her performance in "The English Patient," and has appeared in many other films, including "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." The French actress made her British theatre debut in 1998 as Ersilia Dei in the Almeida's production of Pirandello's Naked. She appeared on stage as Nina in The Seagull at the Theatre de l'Odeon in Paris. Slattery has appeared in many plays on and Off-Broadway, including Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain and Night and Her Stars.
Director Leveaux, who recently worked on the Broadway production of The Real Thing, was scheduled to helm the Roundabout production of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms at the American Airlines Theatre. It would have been the third time Leveaux has directed an O'Neill play on Broadway. (The venture fell apart, however, after Mary-Louise Parker left the show, opting to remain with the then-Broadway-bound Proof.) Leveaux's Broadway productions include two other O'Neill plays — Anna Christie with Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson (Tony Award for Best Revival) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (Tony nomination for Outstanding Direction). For the Royal Shakespeare Company, Leveaux directed 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and Romeo and Juliet. For the Royal National Theatre, Leveaux directed Strindberg's The Father. Since 1993, he has been artistic director of Theatre Project Tokyo, Japan, where other productions included Yukio Mishima's Modern Noh Plays, The Changeling, Hedda Gabler and Mishima's version of Jean Cocteau's Two Headed Eagle. *
After opening night, the Roundabout Theatre Company’s pre-show discussions during the run of Betrayal continue every Tuesday until the show closes. As reported earlier, same day ticket-holders can avail themselves of this offer, which entitles them to attend the discussion groups in the Penthouse Lobby of the American Airlines Theatre.
The pre-show discussions started Nov. 7, at 7 PM. Production sources indicate that the discussions are "moderated by members of Roundabout’s education staff, lead by Margaret Salvante, Roundabout's education director."
Roundabout has made it a point to focus on providing numerous patron amenities while rebuilding its new home, the American Airlines Theatre. One aspect of the facility's profile is the Penthouse Lobby, which was constructed above the existing theatre roof. Recent use of the lobby for events suggests the nation's second-largest nonprofit is aiming to maximize the theatre's potential.
"We are fortunate to have such a wonderful facility in our Penthouse Lobby," explained Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes. "Discussion groups are a great way to introduce our subscribers, and other theatergoers, to this new space. Roundabout has always strived to make theatergoing a comfortable and social experience as well as an artistically rewarding one.”
For more information about the Roundabout visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.