Pryce, John Lithgow's castmate in Broadway's Comedians 30 years ago, assumes the Lithgow-created musical role of Lawrence Jameson in the Tony Award-nominated Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. His partner in crime remains Norbert Leo Butz, a Tony winner for his turn as rough-hewn Freddy, who spars and competes with Lawrence. Butz recently extended his contract to July 2006. Lithgow, Tony nominated for the musical, exited the Imperial Theatre Jan. 15. Sara Gettelfinger also left on Sunday, to be replaced Jan. 17 by Mylinda Hull (42nd Street) in the role of vulgar Oklahoman Jolene Oakes.
Pryce told Playbill.com that he was attracted to the crazy Henry Higgins quality of Lawrence, who tries to teach Freddy that way of the smooth con. Pryce famously played Higgins in My Fair Lady in the London staging of the classic, produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
Pryce first saw Dirty Rotten because he wanted to catch his old pal Lithgow's new show. A few months later, the producers invited Pryce to take over when Lithgow's contract ended. He went back to see the show with actor's eyes, and said yes. He admitted the show is much more dance and movement-oriented than anything he's done before.
* Dirty Rotten producer Marty Bell previously said in a statement, "Jonathan Pryce is one of the most talented and versatile leading men on stage and screen. We are thrilled to be welcoming him back to Broadway after almost 15 years. This con is a pro!"
Jonathan Pryce won the Best Actor (Musical) Tony Award for his starring role as the status-starved, capitalism-crazed schemer, the Engineer, in Miss Saigon. For his Broadway debut in Comedians (1977), he received the Tony Award and Theatre World Award.
Pryce's film credits include Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" and "The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Tomorrow Never Dies," "Evita," "Carrington" (Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award) and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." He will also appear in two sequels to the franchise.