It's official: London will throw Stones at Broadway this season.
Marie Jones' London hit, Stones in His Pockets will arrive at the John Golden Theatre in March 2001. Several London papers have cited a St. Patrick's Day opening for the Irish-themed two man comedy, but that date could not be confirmed with a production spokesman at the Boneau/Bryan-Brown office.
Stones tells of Charlie and Jack, two down on their luck Irishmen (played by Conleth Hill and Sean Campion) working as extras on a Hollywood film being shot in the Irish countryside. When the men find themselves dissatisfied with the American look at their culture, they begin to construct the perfect Irish film. Among the characters Hill and Campion portray are Caroline Giovanni, the spoiled and horny American female star; Mickey, the last remaining extra from "The Quiet Man"; and Clem, the hunchbacked director.
The play is inspired by Jones' own experience as an actor in films shot in Ireland, including 1993's “In the Name of the Father,” starring Daniel Day Lewis. Jones' other plays include Women on the Verge of HRT and the sequel Women on the Verge.Get a Life. Her latest play, Ruby, based on the life of Ruby Murray, will open at the Opera House Belfast in October.
Hill and Campion will cross the Atlantic with the production if Actor's Equity permits the cast transfer. Both unknowns before Stones (Hill appeared in Andrew Hinds' The Starving in 1998 and on "Blue Heaven" in the UK and both performed together in Waiting for Godot in Belfast), the show has made both actors into stars. Interestingly, the Broadway run won't be the American premiere for the play. Stones finished off the Magic Theatre in San Francisco's 1998-99 season, replacing the previously announced Quills (which is now a feature film starring Geoffrey Rush). There, the Stones leads were played by Kurt Reinhardt and Mark Phillips.
Ian McElhinney will direct in the U.S. as he did in London.
Stones in His Pockets transferred to London's Duke of York Aug. 21 for an open-ended run. For further information on the London production, contact the Duke of York's box office on 011-44-20-7369-1791.
-- By Christine Ehren
and Terri Paddock