With previews beginning Sept. 18 (for an Oct. 11 opening), load-in time for the incoming revival Dance of Death has necessitated the closing of Fosse a week earlier than originaly announced. The revue of choreographer Bob Fosse's greatest and lesser known works will now shutter on Aug. 25 — instead of the previously announced Sept. 1 — at the Broadhurst, having played 1,100 performances after 22 previews in its Tony Award-winning Broadway run.
Fosse currently stars both Ann Reinking and Ben Vereen in the show, which revisits The Pajama Game, Chicago and Sweet Charity, along with various TV specials Fosse choreographed and/or directed. Fosse won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1999.
August Strindberg's Dance of Death, which follows hard upon Fosse, will run 17 weeks only. As previously announced, the drama will star Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. Sean Mathias directs Richard Greenberg's translation.
McKellen was last seen on the New York stage when his Richard III visited the Brooklyn Academy of Music several years ago. The production was later made into a film. McKellen many other theatre credits include The Dutchess of Malfi and The Cherry Orchard. Mirren made her belated Broadway debut in the mid-90s in A Month in the Country at the Roundabout Theatre Company, starring opposite Ron Rifkin and F. Murray Abraham.
Dance of Death was written by the Swedish master in 1901 and belongs to Strindberg's later, expressionistic phase, a period which produced such classic works as The Ghost Sonata and The Dream Play. The English Mathias is best known in America for his production of Indiscretions, a retitled reworking of French surrealist Jean Cocteau's Les Parents Terribles. The Broadway production starred Eileen Atkins, Kathleen Turner, Roger Rees, Cynthia Nixon and Jude Law.
Greenberg's many works include Three Days of Rain and Night and Her Stars. A couple of other Greenberg plays may reach New York in the coming season. The Dazzle has long been scheduled for a Drama Dept. staging. And the dramatist's latest, Everett Beekin, premiered at South Coast Repertory Theatre last fall and will make its New York debut with frequent Chicago and one-time Fosse dancer Bebe Neuwirth in the lead at Lincoln Center.
The idea of a Broadway production of the often-forbidding Strindberg is not as outlandish as it might seem. A mounting of The Father, starring Frank Langella, was a hit for the Roundabout Theatre Company in the mid-90s.