Frank Langella, last seen fleeing the London production of Over the Moon in which he and co-star Joan Collins reportedly didn't see eye to eye, will join Alan Bates in a rarely-staged Turgenev play adapted by Michael Poulton, Fortune's Fool. The play will try out in Stamford, Feb. 22-March 3, 2002 as a "pre-Broadway engagement," and then open on Broadway April 2. Noted film director Arthur Penn ("Bonnie and Clyde") will helm, with Jane Greenwood creating the costumes and John Arnone the set.
Langella played husband to Collins wife in the West End bow of Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo, retitled Over the Moon for English audiences unfamiliar with the Great Lakes city. Langella left the production last week after only a brief stay in the comedy. The actor's last Broadway credit was Present Laughter, directed by Scott Elliott. His most recent New York appearance was as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
Actor Bates, a Tony winner for 1973's Butley and a film star via "An Unmarried Woman" and "Women in Love." recently donated £50,000 to The Actors' Centre in Covent Garden. It was a display of both generosity and family loyalty in helping refurbish the Tristan Bates Theatre, the Centre's auditorium. The theatre, which Bates helped found, is named in honor of his son, a model, who died at age 19, some ten years ago, of complications following an asthma attack when working in Japan. Bates's other son, Tristan's twin, is Benedick Bates who appeared earlier this year at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, in Thelma Holt's production of Noel Coward's Semi Monde. He is currently touring with his father in a stage version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray.
The Stamford Center is currently readying for its November, pre-New York run of the musical Summer of `42. The season will also see a transfer of Long Wharf Theatre's An Infinite Ache (Jan. 29-Feb. 3, 2002).
Poulton's Fortune's Fool is unrelated to the Frederick Stroppel comedy Fortunes Fools which played Off-Broadway's Cherry Lane Theatre in 1995. The producers are hoping for two other "name" actors to join Bates in the show.