As everyone who's gone to see The Producers knows (and as many of us knew long before then) that it is wrong to wish actors "good luck" before an opening night. Nonetheless, on May 1, Chris O'Donnell will take his chances and open on Broadway as The Man Who Had All the Luck. The earlier Arthur Miller work is produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company.
O'Donnell is backed up by Mason Adams, James Rebhorn and Sam Robards, who has received a Drama Desk Award nomination for his performance. The four men were first reunited in performance at the American Airlines Theatre when the show began previews on April 19; the quartet appeared in a 2001 staging of the play at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Joining them in New York is Samatha Mathis, playing the part Jennifer Dundas had in Massachusetts.
Also drafted from the 2001 incarnation are Dan Moran, Edward James Hyland, Ryan Shively and David Wohl. New to the play are Ryan Shively and Mary Catherine Wright. Scott Ellis directs.
Miller's intriguing 1944 Broadway flop came before both his breakout hit, All My Sons, and the towering Death of a Salesman. Miller wrote the play in 1940. It takes place in 1938 during the end of the Depression, and as Europe was heading into war. Boyish O'Donnell spent the 1990s starring in such films as "Scent of a Woman" with Al Pacino, "Men Don't Leave" with Jessica Lange and "Circle of Friends" with Minnie Driver. His most widely-seen performance, however, was probably as Robin in "Batman Forever," the 1995 addition to the "Batman" movie franchise.
He'll play the title role of David in the Miller play. The Man Who Had All the Luck is described in press notes as "a charming story of the fate of a young Midwestern man whose fortune shines on him while it passes over everyone else around him. The play wrestles with the unanswerable — the question of the justice of fate, how it was that one man failed and another, no more or less capable, achieved some glory in life."
Mathis has acted in movies since she was a teenager. Her first major role was in the Christian Slater vehicle "Pump Up the Volume." Since then she has starred in "Little Women," "Broken Arrow," "The American President," and "American Psycho." She was also in the cast of the TV series "First Years." Born in Brooklyn to actress Bibi Besch, she began appearing in commercials at an early age.
Adams is best known from the television series "Lou Grant," but was recently seen Off-Broadway in John Guare's Lake Hollywood and Horton Foote's The Last of the Thorntons. Rebhorn's many film credits include "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Robards has acted in such New York fare as Misalliance, also at the Roundabout.
Director Scott Ellis is the associate artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre Company. For Roundabout, he directed the Broadway revival of The Rainmaker with Woody Harrelson and Jayne Atkinson, 1776, She Loves Me and Company. He'll helm the company's revised revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical, The Boys From Syracuse, opening July 11 (the musical was bumped from March 2002 to summer to accommodate The Man Who Had All the Luck).
This new staging of The Man Who Had All the Luck originated with a reading for the Roundabout's donors in early 2000, directed by Scott Ellis.
A revival of Miller's The Crucible opened at the Virginia Theatre on March 7.