What is good news for Electra isn't necessarily good news for The Visitor . Both plays recently had a vested interest in Broadway's Barrymore Theatre, which became the home of Electra in November and was to become the home of The Visitor , starring Eli Wallach, beginning Feb. 18, 1999. However, Electra has proved a surprise hit and extended its limited run until Mar. 28, 1999, leaving Wallach and company temporarily homeless.
The solution? Cross the Atlantic. Instead of debuting in New York, The Visitor will bow in London sometime in mid-January 1999, confirmed Lee Silver of the Shubert Organization, which is producing the venture. Wallach will stay with the project, as will announced director Sir Peter Hall. There are no plans at present for a Broadway transfer.
Wallach will play famed Father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, in Jeremy Sams' adaptation of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Nazi drama. In the play, Nazi officers try to persuade Freud to sign a document endorsing the Nazi party.
Wallach last appeared on the New York stage in the still-running Off- Broadway hit Visiting Mr. Green. Other credits from his long career include Cafe Crown, Rhinoceros, and This Property Is Condemned.
Sir Peter Hall, whose most recent Broadway credit was the lauded revival of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, has frequently visited New York to stage such plays as The Merchant of Venice, Orpheus Descending and Four Baboons Adoring the Sun. During his crowded career, he has headed both the Royal Shakespeare Company (1960-68) and the Royal National Theatre (1963-88). For the last decade, he has produced plays under the flag of his own Peter Hall Company. -- By Robert Simonson