McKellen will appear in the U.S. premieres of the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and The Seagull, both directed by Sir Trevor Nunn. The Shakespeare and Chekhov plays, respectively, will play in repertory at BAM's Harvey Theater from Sept. 6-30. McKellen will play the title character in Lear and will play Sorin in "selected performances" of The Seagull at BAM, according to a release. The productions will make their world premieres earlier in the year, in March 2007, in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The U.S. premieres of director Edward Hall's of The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night will be acted out by his all-male troupe Propeller in repertory at BAM's Harvey Theater from March 17-April 1.
Cheek by Jowl's Cymbeline will make its U.S. premiere at the Harvey Theater May 2-12. The company's co-artistic director Declan Donnellan will direct.
Edward Scissorhands was previously announced to arrive at BAM as part of a national tour that will play Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto, among other cities. The dance piece, based on Tim Burton's film starring Johnny Depp, will play BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House from March 14-31. Bourne (Swan Lake, the currently running Mary Poppins) devised, directs and choreographs the piece and Terry Davies provides the music and arrangements, which are based on themes from the film's score by Danny Elfman. The show had its world premiere in London in November 2005.
The musician-actor Mos Def (Topdog/Underdog) will perform at BAM on Feb. 16 and 17. Dance presentations include the choreographer William Forsythe's Three Atmospheric Studies, the U.S. premiere of The Hamburg Ballet and John Neumeier's Death in Vence, Doug Varone's Dense Terrain and 30 Years of DanceAfrica: Remember! Honor! Respect! An African Dance Odyssey. William Kentridge's production of The Magic Flute is also on tap. The RSC has come to BAM seven previous times, from King Lear in 1975 to Hecuba with Vanessa Redgrave in 2005. Bourne teamed with Davies to create Play Without Words, which played BAM in 2005. Hall and Propeller previously came to BAM with A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2004 and The Winter's Tale in 2005. Cheek by Jowl previously appeared at BAM with Othello in 2004.
The Howard Gilman Opera House is at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. The Harvey Theater is at 651 Fulton Street. For more information visit www.bam.org.