LCT's long-running production of South Pacific will close at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on the Lincoln Center campus on Aug. 22. The Beaumont, a Broadway house, will be home to the 1802-set historical drama by Guare in the fall and War Horse, about a heroic horse during World War I, in the spring of 2011.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, by the writers of the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, will play Broadway's Belasco Theatre, a favorite off-campus venue of LCT. The theatre on West 44th Street is currently being renovated.
The news was announced Feb. 18. Lincoln Center Theater is under the direction of Andre Bishop, artistic director, and Bernard Gersten, executive producer.
Women on the Verge will launch the season with a first preview of Oct. 2 toward an opening night of Nov. 4. Inspired by the 1988 Pedro Almodóvar film, the show has a book by Jeffrey Lane, music and lyrics by David Yazbek and direction by Bartlett Sher (South Pacific). The musical "is set in late 20th-century Madrid and tells the story of the intertwining lives of a group of women whose relationships with men lead to a tumultuous 48 hours of love, confusion and passion."
A Free Man of Color will be directed by George C. Wolfe. Previews begin Oct. 21 toward a Nov. 18 opening at the Beaumont. The play is billed as "a freewheeling epic set in 1802 New Orleans," where "Jacques Cornet, the title character, is a new world Don Juan and the wealthiest inhabitant of this sexually charged and racially progressive city. Jacques thinks all is well in his paradise until history intervenes, setting off a chain of events which no one, much less this free man of color, realizes is about to splinter the world." John Guare has a long relationship with LCT, which famously produced his plays The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation
LCT will then team with the National Theatre of Great Britain, in association with Bob Boyett, to present the U.S. premiere of the National Theatre's critically acclaimed production of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by Nick Stafford, with direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. It will begin performances at the Vivian Beaumont March 17, 2011, with an opening night scheduled for April 14, 2011.
According to LCT, "At the outbreak of World War I, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a mission to find him and bring him home."
War Horse premiered at the National Theatre in November 2007, directed by Elliott and Morris and in association with Handspring Puppet Company, which brought the title character to life. After two sold-out runs at the National War Horse moved to London's West End in March 2009 where it continues to play to capacity houses at the New London Theatre.
The LCT American premiere, which reunites the production's acclaimed London design team, will have scenic design by Rae Smith, puppetry by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring, lighting by Paule Constable, movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, video by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, music by Adrian Sutton, songs by John Tams, and sound design by Christopher Shutt. (Presumably, the cast will be American.)
LCT's 2010-2011 Off-Broadway season — Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater and LCT3 productions — will be announced at a later date.
By the time it closes, the Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, directed by LCT resident director Sher, will have played 1,000 performances and 37 previews, making it the longest-running Broadway revival of any of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals.
The national tour of LCT's production of South Pacific, which opened in September 2009, will continue into the 2010-2011 season. There are plans for productions in London and Australia.
The designers for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and A Free Man of Color, and casting for all three productions, will be announced at a later date.