Gauguin, a new play by David Henry Hwang about the French painter, is apparently headed for Broadway. The New York Post reported, Sept. 18, that the drama would reach New York by early next year, but press rep Max Eisen told Playbill On-Line the target date is fall 1999.
Hwang, the author of M. Butterfly, was last seen on Broadway with last season's Golden Child. The new work concerns the life of the French, post-impressionist painter, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), a contemporary of Vincent Van Gogh. Gauguin is perhaps best known for his paintings of the natives of Tahiti, where he moved later in his life. The play will concern these years in Tahiti, where Gauguin found not only an island, but the fantasy paradise of his dreams. Gauguin raises the question of whether the artist's famous paintings are inauthentic fabrications of a foreign imagination or the ultimate manifestation of the artistic spirit.
Film actor Armand Assante has been tapped to play the title role. Assante's varied credits include The Mambo Kings, Q & A and Hoffa, and the television movie The Odyssey. The cast will feature two or three other characters. Larry Sacharow (Three Tall Women) will direct.
Producer David Romeo said Gauguin will have an out-of-town tryout, probably at Trinity Rep in Rhode Island, before reaching New York.
-- By Robert Simonson