They'll be no degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and Broadway this season as the "Footloose" and "Diner" star appears in Heather McDonald's An Almost Holy Picture at the Roundabout Theatre Company this January. Michael Mayer directs.
Though Bacon's wife, actress, Kyra Sedgwick, has divided her time between the big screen and the stage — appearing on Broadway in Twelfth Night and Off-Broadway in Craig Lucas' Stranger — Bacon is known nearly exclusively for his film work. Among his many credits are "JFK," "The River Wild," "The Big Picture," "A Few Good Men," "Apollo 13," "Sleepers" and "Picture Perfect." He has appeared in so many films, with so many different actors, that he inspired a game called "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" (after John Guare's play, Six Degrees of Separation) in which players try to connect a performer with Bacon in less that six steps.
Back in the fall of 1999, an Off-Broadway production of An Almost Holy Picture, was announced, with How I Learned to Drive's David Morse as star and direction by Mayer. It was eventually postponed due to the lack of a theatre and wasn't heard from again until earlier this year, when the Roundabout added the play to its schedule. The drama was originally set for the Roundabout's Off-Broadway berth, the Gramercy Theatre, but has now been promoted to the American Airlines Theatre (taking a slot once reserved for a now scotched revival of Tartuffe).
Bacon will perform the role of Samuel Gentle, the former priest, now church groundskeeper, whose faith is shaped by: a voice he heard as a child; a horrible schoolbus accident that leads to his renunciation of the ministry; and his daughter's rare endocrine disease. The Los Angeles Times named An Almost Holy Picture the best new play of 1995. Other works by McDonald include Faulkner's Bicycle, Dream of a Common Language, The Rivers and Ravines and Available Light.
Clare Booth Luce's The Women is currently in previews at the AA Theatre, under the direction of Scott Elliot. Following An Almost Holy Picture, the Broadway house will host Arthur Miller's early work, The Man Who Had All the Luck, starring Chris O'Donnell, in spring 2002; and the Rodgers and Hart musical The Boy from Syracuse, directed by Scott Ellis, in summer 2002.
The Gramercy, meanwhile, will be home to Angela Bovell's Speaking in Tongues, directed by Mark Clements, beginning Oct. 26 and opening Nov. 18; and The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg, directed by David Warren, opening on Aug. 1, 2002.