A season filled with theatre and film stars has been shuffled a little at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company and new artistic director Nicholas Martin. Ethan Hawke, originally slated to star opposite Tony winner Blair Brown in a mounting of Tennessee Williams' Camino Real for January 2002, has dropped out of the production according to a source close to the theatre.
His absence caused a reshuffling of shows that has resulted in a scheduling conflict for Kristine Nielsen, who was to reprise her original Off-Broadway role, in Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation opposite Kellie Overbey. Andrea Martin will now be replacing Nielsen. Huntington press spokespersons could not confirm the changes.
Betty's Summer Vacation represented playwright Christopher Durang's biggest critical success in years when it premiered at Playwright Horizons, under Martin's direction. Though several attempts were made to transfer the comedy to a commercial run, the show closed after an extended run at PH and never re-opened. Though the entire cast shined, Kellie Overbey (as the innocent, decent Betty) and Kristine Nielsen (as a crazed, motormouthed matron) were thought to be critical to the success of the scathingly funny satire.
James Joyce's The Dead will open the Huntington season, as previously announced. It also began life at Playwrights Horizons. The Richard Nelson musical adaptation of James Joyce's famous short story transferred to Broadway where it earned a five Tony nominations and a win for Nelson's book. Nelson will repeat his work as director. The final slot of the season will be filled by Frank McGuiness's Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. Martin will again direct, giving him charge of three of the five Huntington productions offered in the 2001-02 season. Other plays under consideration are O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms, Russell Lees' Nixon's Nixon, and Joe Penhall's blue/orange. For more information, visit www.bu.edu/huntington.
— by Ernio Hernandez
and Robert Simonson