American producers Anita Waxman and Elizabeth Williams will team with Off-Broadway's Public Theater to present David Mamet's latest work, Boston Marriage. Karen Kohlhaas will direct.
Waxman and Williams grabbed the U.S. rights to the play after seeing Marriage debut at the Donmar Warehouse last year. (The duo is already on the record as bringing the 2002 Donmar stagings of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night to Broadway in spring 2003; as well as Christopher Hampton's Tales from Hollywood to Off-Broadway). Waxman previously told Playbill On Line that Boston Marriage would hit New York by the end of 2002.
No dates or cast have been announced for the Public production. Waxman said she hoped to retain much of the London cast of Boston Marriage. It is not certain whether star Zoe Wanamaker will repeat her role in the U.S. "The lady has so many committments," Waxman told Playbill On-Line. The UK cast also included Anna Chancellor and Lyndsey Marshal.
Boston Marriage, which had its 1999 U.S. debut in Boston (appropriately), is an odd departure for man's man Mamet. The play is about the prickly and arch relationship between two Victorian era women, Clare and Anna, who live together. Mamet's wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, starred in the Boston staging.
Wanamaker has been seen in New York in Loot and Electra, the latter a Donmar affair. In early 2000, the Mamet play seemed headed to New York, with reports that actress Sharon Stone was interested, but nothing came of the plans.
Boston Marriage is the third entry to be announced for the Public's 2002-03 season, following Suzan-Lori Parks' Fuckin' A and Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out. The latter also has a Donmar Warehouse connection; the play will have its premiere there June 20-Aug. 3.
Dominic Fumusa, Denis O'Hare and Frederick Weller will head the cast of the play, about a sensationally popular baseball star who reveals he is gay.
The engagement at The Joseph Papp Public Theater begins Aug. 23. It will be the first Public Theater show of the 2002-2003 season.
Rehearsals under the direction of Joe Mantello begin May 13 at The Public Theater. Also in the cast are Daniel Sunjata, Kevin Carroll, Kohl Sudduth, James Yaegashi, Gene Gabriel and Robert Jimenez.
According to the Donmar Warehouse website, the following dialogue may sum up the new work: "If I'm gonna have sex — and I am because I'm young and rich and famous and talented and handsome so it's a law — I'd rather do it with a guy, but, when all is said and done, Kippy? I'd rather just play ball."
In the play, "Darren Leeming is a young iconic baseball star, living life large, male as can be, envied by everyone. He calls a press conference and, without telling anyone what he is about to do, he comes out to the waiting media." The play, about sports, race, and sexual politics, "chronicles the fall-out as the ripples of his actions spread through the team, the media and across the nation."
The Donmar staged the acclaimed UK staging of Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, considered his masterpiece. Greenberg's plays include the current Off-Broadway (and South Coast Repertory) attraction, The Dazzle, plus Eastern Standard, Everett Beekin and Hurrah at Last.
—By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones