The Off-Broadway debut of the West End hit, Richard Nelson's Madame Melville, has pushed back its first preview to April 10. Originally, it was set to begin April 2. A spokesman at the show's producing office said star Macaulay Culkin was suffering from tonsillitis and the extra week would allow him some voice rest.
Joely Richardson will star opposite former child film star Culkin. Culkin is the only member of the UK cast to make the journey over. Richardson's role was played by Irene Jacob in London.
Madame Melville opened at the Vaudeville Theatre on Oct. 18, following previews from Oct. 7. It closed March 11.
Richardson has appeared in such films as "The Patriot," "101 Dalmatians," and "Event Horizon." A member of the British Redgrave-Richardson theatre family, her grandfather was Sir Michael Redgrave, her parents Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson, her aunt Lynn Redgrave and her sister Natasha Richardson.
Playbill On-Line first reported Nelson's intention to move the play to New York in June 2000, and reported Culkin's interest on Aug. 2. Culkin auditioned for the role of the young man who is seduced by his thirty-something French teacher. Now 19, he became a phenomenon in the early 1990s with starring roles in films including "Home Alone," "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," "My Girl," "The Good Son" and "Richie Rich." Culkin's last film role was in 1994's "Getting Even with Dad." Madame Melville is produced be Gregory Mosher, Ostar Enterprises, Ben Sprecher, Julian Schlossberg, William P. Miller and Ted Tulchin.
—By Robert Simonson