Chicago's Goodman Theatre's lauded production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz, may move to Broadway. Goodman press rep Cindy Bandle told Playbill On-Line that many New York producers had been to visit the show, which began performances Sept. 19 and opened Sept. 28. She stressed, however, that no commitments had been made.
Reviews, including an Oct. 30 notice in USA Today, have had high praise for the show, which represents the latest collaboration between Dennehy and Goodman artistic director Robert Falls. Miller himself saw the show and was highly complimentary, according to Bandle. As is usual with regional transfers, much depends on The New York Times. Bandle said the Times review would appear on Tuesday, Nov. 3, four days before the production must close, Nov. 7.
Dennehy and Falls have previously teamed up for acclaimed productions of Brecht's Galileo and O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. The actor is best known for his movies, among which are Cocoon, First Blood, Presumed Innocent, Gorky Park and F/X.
Franz created the title role in Christopher Durang's Sister Mary Ignatius..., for which she won an Obie Award. She was recently seen Off-Broadway in Minutes from the Blue Route at the Atlantic Theatre Company and The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Public Theatre. Broadway credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, and The Cherry Orchard.
The cast of Saleman also includes Kevin Anderson (Orpheus Descending, Sunset Boulevard) as Biff, and Ted Koch as Happy. In 1997, Koch appeared in the Goodman's production of As You Like It. He recently received a Jeff Citation for his work in CT20 Ensemble's staging of Orphans. Rounding out the cast are Steve Pickering (Howard), Howard Witt (Charley), David Frutkoff (Bernard), and Allen Hamilton (Uncle Ben).
For information on the Goodman season call (312) 443-3800.
As for the rest of the season, Jan. 8-Feb. 14, 1999 (opening Jan. 18, 1999), the Goodman Theatre revisits Waiting for Godot, to be staged by Goodman artistic associate Michael Maggio with native Chicagoan Harry J. Lennix as Estragon.
A very different offering will be Regina Taylor's Oo Bla Dee, a commissioned play about African-American female jazz instrumentalists. Goodman artistic director Tazewell Thompson will direct, Mar. 5-Apr. 11, 1999 (opening Mar. 15, 1999).
Tina Landau will then stage revival of her musical, Floyd Collins, a co-production with San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Originally produced in New York, the 1996 work has a book by Landau and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, and is based on the attempted rescue of a farmer trapped in a Kentucky cave. The prolonged tragedy became a 1925 media circus and a portent of future hullabaloos. Floyd Collins will be the fourth play of the Goodman season and will run Apr. 23-May 30, 1999, opening May 3, 1999.
The company's fifth and final `98-99 show is August Wilson's recently revised early drama Jitney. Goodman artistic associate Chuck Smith will stage the play (June 18-July 31, 1999, opening June 28, 1999), about the eccentric and sometimes desperate denizens of a Pittsburgh gypsy cab stand.
Jitney will mark the seventh Wilson play staged at the Goodman, including the world premiere of Seven Guitars.