An Ideal Husband, the hit Oscar Wilde revival at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, will close Jan. 26 after playing 7 previews and 309 regular performances. Sad as this news is, it will free up a 1,096-seat theatre at a time when plays and musicals are bottlenecked and unable to squeeze in this season. Will The Life now find a home?
An Ideal Husband opened May 1, 1996 with Martin Shaw (as devil may-care Lord Goring) and five other members of England's Peter Hall Company cast. After their Equity contracts ended, they were later replaced by a mostly American cast that included Kim Hunter, Stephanie Beacham and Madeleine Potter, who will all continue with the show until its closing.
Hunter made her debut there nearly 50 years ago as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. Darkness At Noon and The Children's Hour are only a few of Hunter's other Broadway credits. Moviegoers also know her for her work in three of the "Planet Of The Apes" films. Beacham is best known for her role as Sable Colby on TV's "Dynasty" and "The Colbys." Her London theatre credits include Harold Pinter's The Basement, Ted Tally's Terra Nova and Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular.
Taking over for Shaw as the advice-giving Goring is Nicky Henson, a founding member of London's Young Vic company. Other UK roles include Mordred in Camelot and appearances in plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre (he is a member of both).
Madeleine Potter's recent Broadway appearances include three stints at The National Actors Theatre: The Crucible, A Little Hotel On The Side and The Master Builder. Tickets for the remaining performances can be ordered through Tele-Charge at (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.