Broadway gossip started early for Enchanted April, a Hartford Stage adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1921 novel that began previews Feb. 24 and opens March 1 at Connecticut's Hartford Stage. Broadway-level designers and the show's comparatively light, old-fashioned story values would make it seem a natural for a New York transfer -- if reviews and audiences give it the green light.
Enid Graham, a Tony nominee for Honour, is featured in the cast, alongside Christopher Duva (MTC's An Experiment with an Air Pump), Christopher Donahue, John Hines, Isabel Keating, Stephanie March, Irma St. Paule and Jill Tanner. Designing the production are Tony Straiges (set), John Gromada (sound and original music), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Rui Rita (The Price).
Back in August, a company spokesperson told Playbill On-Line Enchanted April hoped to transfer to a Broadway house in April 2000. The romantic comedy, dramatized by Matthew Barber, will play at Hartford Stage through March 26, 2000. Hartford artistic director Michael Wilson is directing.
Enchanted April is about two bored women who flee to a medieval Italian villa, where they meet two other ladies, one of whom appears to be a prudish stick-in-the-mud, the other a beautiful flirt. Eventually, husbands arrive, and all the relationships are considered anew.
Von Arnim's novel was made into a popular 1991 film starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Josie Lawrence and Polly Walker. It received Academy Award nominations for supported actress (Plowright) and adapted screenplay (Peter Barnes). The novel had been previously filmed in 1935. For tickets $17.50-$43 and information on Enchanted April at Hartford Stage at (860) 527-5151.
Enchanted April is being billed as the "anchor" of Hartford Stage's "Brand: NEW" [sic] festival of new works, which will present five other pieces in staged reading form, March 17-19.