Add a movie actress playgoers are curious to see live and an intriguing playwright reworking Moliere and the result, with the Classic Stage Company's aborning The Misanthrope, is quickly-disappearing tickets.
The Off-Broadway company's revival-adaptation of the 1666 comedy begins previews Jan. 28 at CSC, with Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Dangerous Liaisons) playing an American starlet named Jennifer (Celimene, originally) visiting England and sparring with a snarky, brilliant playwright, Alceste, played by Roger Rees (Nicholas Nickleby, The Uneasy Chair).
The adaptation (in verse) is by Martin Crimp, known for his translation of The Chairs in London and on Broadway.
A spokesperson for The Misanthrope said ticket sales are "very strong" for the limited run, through Feb. 28, and that by early February seats will be difficult to find. Official opening night is Feb. 14.
CSC artistic director Barry Edelstein is directing at the 180-seat CSC space, 136 E. 13th St., near Union Square.Tickets are $45. Call (212) 239 6200 or (212) 677-4210 for information. Crimp, a recent writer-in-residence at England's Royal Court Theatre, penned the acclaimed Theatre de Complicite's recent revival of Ionesco's The Chairs. Actors Richard Briers and Geraldine McEwan, along with their Chairs director, Simon McBurney, were Tony-nominated.
Production notes indicate the goal is "satirizing our sound-bite paced, media-obsessed culture with the same lacerating energy that Moliere himself aimed at the narcissistic and intrigue-laden world of Louis XIV's court."
Also in the cast are Michael Emerson (Gross Indecency), Seth Gilliam (A Question of Mercy), Brian Keane, Adina Porter (Venus), Mary Lou Rosato (Once Upon a Mattress), John Gould Rubin (The Predator's Ball) and Nick Wyman (Les Miserables).
Thurman, not known as a stage actress, can be seen in the upcoming Woody Allen project.
Designers for The Misanthrope are Narelle Sissons (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), Stephen Strawbridge (lighting), Darron L. West (sound). Original music is by contemporary classical composer Michael Torke.
Tickets went on sale Jan. 8. Call (212) 239-6200.