Slater replaces Dallas Roberts, the actor from A Number who won the part after such names as Ethan Hawke and Tobey MaGuire had been bandied about in the press. No reason was officially given for the change, but it was generally understood to be a creative decision on the part of director David Leveaux and producer Bill Kenwright.
The change is a sudden and last-minute one. The production will begin previews at the Barrymore Theatre three days from now, on Feb. 24. Opening is March 15. Lange will play Amanda Wingfield. Sarah Paulson is Laura, and Josh Lucas is The Gentleman Caller.
Joey Collins will perform the role of Tom until Slater plays his first performance.
Slater has recently been honing his stage chops in London. He played the lead in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, and was recently announced for a new London production of Sweet Bird of Youth. On Broadway, he starred in Side Man.
Lange appeared on Broadway in the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche Du Bois opposite Alec Baldwin. The actress won Academy Awards for her roles in "Blue Sky" and "Tootsie" and she was also Oscar-nominated for her work in "Music Box," "Sweet Dreams," "Country" and "Frances." Director David Leveaux is currently represented on Broadway by the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. He has been Tony Award-nominated for his stagings of Jumpers, Nine, The Real Thing, Anna Christie and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Other Broadway credits include Betrayal and Electra.
The Glass Menagerie premiered on Broadway at the Playhouse Theatre in 1945. Directed by Eddie Dowling and Margo Jones, the original production featured Laurette Taylor as Amanda, Eddie Dowling as Tom, Julie Haydon as Laura and Anthony Ross as Jim. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented the Tennessee Williams play this summer starring Sally Field as Amanda.