The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced final casting for its production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. The show begins previews at the company's new 42nd Street theatre on March 21 and is scheduled to open April 20.
Michael Mayer will direct this first production in Roundabout's newly purchased and soon-to-be renovated home. The show stars Sir Derek Jacobi, Laura Linney, Brian Murray and Roger Rees. The cast also includes Rita Gam (A Flag is Born), David Patrick Kelly (Twelfth Night), Anne Pitoniak (Amy's View and Picnic, which earned her a Tony nomination) and Amy Ryan (Three Sisters). The play was translated by Mike Poulton.
Tony Award-winner Derek Jacobi's film credits include "Hamlet," "The Secret Garden," "Breaking the Code," "Dead Again" and "Henry V." Jacobi was last seen on Broadway in the 1987 production of Breaking the Code and won his Tony for Much Ado About Nothing in 1985. Linney appeared in Honour, Holiday, The Seagull, and Six Degrees of Separation. She received a Drama Desk nomination for her Off Broadway performance in Sight Unseen and first appeared at the Roundabout in Hedda Gabler. Her film credits include "The House of Mirth," "Congo," "Simple Twist of Fate," "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and "The Truman Show."
Last seen at the Roundabout in Misalliance, Brian Murray has performed on Broadway in Twelfth Night, The Little Foxes (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Noises Off (Drama Desk Award) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Tony Award nomination) among others. Murray's Off-Broadway credits include Ashes (Obie Award), Travels With My Aunt (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), The Merry Wives of Windsor and Hamlet.
Rees' stage credits include The End of the Day, (Obie award) Indiscretions, (Tony nomination) The Misanthrope, and Love's Labours Lost, Cymbeline, and Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Rees garnered Tony and Olivier awards for his performance in Nicholas Nickelby and first appeared at the Roundabout in The Rehearsal. Director Michael Mayer will be helming his fourth play for the company with Uncle Vanya. His previous three productions include last year's Tony winning Best New Play, Side Man, the Tony winning revival of A View From the Bridge and The Lion in Winter starring Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing. Mayer's credits also include Triumph of Love, Stupid Kids, and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.
The production team for Vanya comprises set and costume designer Tony Walton, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and sound designer Mark Bennet.
The Roundabout production of Uncle Vanya is hotly anticipated on two levels; first for the theatrical production itself, but also because this will be the first production in the leading nonprofit's new home, the former Selwyn Theatre on West 42nd Street. Reconstruction on the venue continues apace.
Recognized as a lasting creative force of modern theatre, Anton Chekhov was born in Russia in 1860. He wrote 19 plays in all and his first was written when he was twenty years old. Chekhov died in 1904. Uncle Vanya has been described as a comedy of "unfulfilled dreams and unrequited love that has an almost visionary resonance for audiences." Written in 1897, Uncle Vanya was first produced over the next year in provincial Russian theatres before opening at the Moscow Art Theatre on October 26, 1899. In Moscow, Stanislavski was cast in the role of Dr. Astrov. The Moscow Art Theatre staged the New York debut of the show in 1923, sparking a number of productions that have been staged over the past century. This Poulton translation was produced in Chichester with Derek Jacobi in the title role before moving to London's West End.
Tickets range $50-$65. The Roundabout's new theatre (the former Selwyn Theatre) is located at 227 West 42nd Street. For information and tickets call Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300.