David Schwimmer, best known to audiences for his work on the long-running NBC series "Friends," makes his Broadway debut as Lt. Barney Greenwald in the Court-Martial company, which also features theatre favorite Željko Ivanek as the unstable Lt. Com. Philip Francis Queeg, a role played famously by a strawberries-obsessed Humphrey Bogart in the 1954 film.
Directed by Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, the cast of the play — which began previews April 14 — also includes Tim Daly (as Lt. Com. John Challee), Terry Beaver (as Captain Blakely), Murphy Guyer (as Captain Randolph Southard), Brian Reddy (as Dr. Forrest Lundeen), Ben Fox (as Lt. Jr. Grade Willis Seward Keith), Geoffrey Nauffts (Lt. Thomas Keefer) and Joe Sikora (as Lt. Stephen Maryk).
Playwright Wouk debuted The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial on Broadway in 1954. The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial pits Lieutenant Stephen Maryk against Lieutenant Commander Queeg as Maryk relieves his minesweeper commander of duty after deciding Queeg has become too mentally unstable to pilot their World War II vehicle, the USS Caine. He is accused of mutiny and put on trial by the Navy. (The play's action is set in a courtroom.) Wouk's eleven novels include "The Winds of War," "War and Remembrance" and "Marjorie Morningstar."
"The surface of the play is very clean, and everything is going on underneath," actor Željko Ivanek recently told Playbill.com. Ivanek plays the critical role of Queeg, who may or may not be insane. "We're trying to figure out how to be truthful to it, but not make it feel like a period play, but something really immediate. The things it talks about are still very current. There are always questions about the military and society and issues of taking responsibility."
The creative team for the production includes John Lee Beatty (set design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Paul Gallo (lighting design) and Daniel Moses Schreier (sound design). Producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Debra Black, Roger Berlind, Ronald Frankel, Roy Gottleib, Terry Schnuck, Sheldon Stein, and Barry Weisbord, in association with Roy Furman.
A co-founder of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, David Schwimmer's theatrical credits there include The Master and Margarita, West, The Jungle, Eye of the Beholder, The Odyssey, The Idiot and RACE: How Blacks And Whites Think And Feel About The American Obsession. The actor has also appeared in Glimmer Brothers, and he made his London debut in Neil LaBute's Some Girls.
Željko Ivanek received Tony nominations for his performances in Two Shakespearean Actors and Brighton Beach Memoirs and a Drama Desk Award for his work in Cloud 9. His other theatrical credits include The Pillowman, The Glass Menagerie, Loot, The Survivor, The Cherry Orchard and A Map of the World as well as the London mounting of bash.
The original Broadway production played 415 performances at the Plymouth Theatre. The cast featured Henry Fonda (Lt. Barney Greenwald), John Hodiak (Lt. Stephen Maryk) and Lloyd Nolan (Lt. Com. Philip Francis Queeg). A 1983 revival at Circle in the Square co-starred Michael Moriarty and John Rubinstein and played 216 performances.
Performance times are Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. Tickets, priced $47.25-$96.25, are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 West 45th Street. Formerly known as the Plymouth, it is where the Wouk play first opened in January 1954.