Tony Award-winning director Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage, Boeing-Boeing, The Norman Conquests) will stage the 17th century-set production that will first play a limited London engagement June 26-Sept. 4 at the Comedy Theatre. La Bête will then cross the Atlantic for its New York return, opening Oct. 14 at a Shubert theatre to be announced.
In addition to the previously announced leading trio of Hyde Pierce (Curtains, Spamalot), Rylance (Boeing-Boeing, Jerusalem) and Lumley ("Absolutely Fabulous"), the transatlantic cast will include Stephen Ouimette, Lisa Joyce, Greta Lee, Robert Lonsdale, Michael Milligan, Liza Sadovy, Sally Wingert, Deanne Lorette and Steve Routman.
For the new staging, the role of Prince Conti (originated on Broadway by Dylan Baker) has been changed to Princess Conti, with Lumley in the part. According to producers, "La Bête is a comic tour de force about Elomire (Pierce), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theater, and Valere (Rylance), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the fickle princess (Lumley) decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages."
La Bête will be produced in London and New York by Scott Landis and Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Robert G. Bartner/Norman Tulchin, Bob Boyett/Tim Levy, Roy Furman, Max Cooper, Philip Morgaman/Frankie J. Grande and Bud Martin. The production will have set design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, music by Claire van Kampen and sound design by Simon Baker.
La Bête made its short-lived Broadway premiere in 1991, playing 25 performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The original cast featured Dylan Baker, Micheal Cumpsty and Tom McGowan. The play received acclaim when it arrived in London in 1992, earning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy.
Tickets for the Broadway run go on sale to American Express cardholders May 19 and to the general public May 29. Phone (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.