Film and stage star Laurence Fishburne may play Henry II, King of England, in a possible upcoming Broadway production of James Goldman’s 1966 play The Lion in Winter.
Production spokesperson Erin Dunn confirmed a Variety report that the venture, still in discussion, is tentatively scheduled for next season, and would be staged on the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Stage Right by of-the-moment director Michael Mayer.
Fishburne last appeared on the New York stage in his own play, Riff Raff, which played at the Circle in the Square Downtown in the fall of 1995, and was one of the last productions of the now defunct Off-Broadway company, Circle Rep. Since then, he has appeared in a variety of movies, including a film adaptation of Othello.
A Lion in Winter first opened on March 3, 1966 at the Ambassador Theatre, and closed May 21. It starred Robert Preston as Henry II and Rosemary Harris as his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. It was later made into a movie starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn.
There is no word yet as to who would join Fishburne on stage, or whether casting will continued to follow non-traditional lines. Mayer, meanwhile, is booked to the gills. In addition to the possible King assignment, his 1998-99 date book also includes a restaging of the Classic Stage Company production of Warren Leight’s Sideman at the Roundabout; a Broadway-bound tour of the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a musicalization of the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie, and a Broadway mounting of Paula Vogel’s The Mineola Twins--surely the busiest season for a director in memory. In 1997 98, Mayer staged the now-closed Broadway musical Triumph of Love and the successful Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. An announcement confirming if and when Side Man will reach the Roundabout is due at the end of the week.