Broadway gossip started early for Enchanted April, a Hartford Stage adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1921 novel that began previews way back on Feb. 24, 2000, and opens March 1. In August 1999, a company spokesperson told Playbill On-Line the romantic comedy, dramatized by Matthew Barber, hoped to transfer to a Broadway house in April 2000. Well, the Hartford staging came and went, and there was no further word on April's New York prosects. Now, however, the show has resurfaced and announced plans to land on Broadway in fall 2002. Michael Wilson, Hartford artistic director, will again helm the production. Designing the production are Tony Straiges (set), John Gromada (sound and original music), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Rui Rita (lights). Enchanted April is about two bored women who flee to a medieval Italian villa, where they meet two other ladies, one of whom appears to be a prudish stick-in-the-mud, the other a beautiful flirt. Eventually, husbands arrive, and all the relationships are considered anew.
Von Arnim's novel was made into a popular 1991 film starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Josie Lawrence and Polly Walker. It received Academy Award nominations for supported actress (Plowright) and adapted screenplay (Peter Barnes). The novel had been previously filmed in 1935.
Starring in the Hartford show were Enid Graham, a Tony nominee for Honour, Christopher Duva (MTC's An Experiment with an Air Pump), Christopher Donahue, John Hines, Isabel Keating, Stephanie March, Irma St. Paule and Jill Tanner.