When will Night Fall for the National Actors Theatre?
Feb. 4 and Feb. 14, 1999. Those are the preview and opening night dates, respectively, for a revival of Emlyn Williams' murder mystery, Night Must Fall, to be directed by John Tillinger.
Casting has still not been finalized, according to spokesperson Charlie Siedenburg (of the Springer/Chicoine press office). The Daily News and Variety have reported that Matthew Broderick (Master Harold...And The Boys, H2$) has long been in talks for a lead role, but no contracts have been signed. Though the NAT usually produces shows at the Lyceum Theatre, Night won't necessarily play there. No theatre has yet been decided for the production.
Director Tillinger's Broadway credits include the aforementioned Sunshine Boys, Loot and Arthur Miller's Broken Glass and The Price.
After a London staging in 1935, Night Must Fall premiered at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1936. Other plays by (George) Emlyn Williams include The Corn is Green and The Druid's Rest.
* Tony Randall has singlemindedly and tirelessly boosted NAT, which he founded in the early 1990s as a way of getting the finest contemporary actors to perform seldom-seen classics and stretch their acting muscles. Some of the productions have been successful, including a recent Randall-Jack Klugman teaming on The Sunshine Boys, and Brian Bedford in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens. But the company has struggled. A lauded 1996 revival of Inherit the Wind with George C. Scott and Charles Durning closed prematurely when Scott developed problems with his health and personal life. (Scott was last reported to be Broadway bound in a play by adman Nick Nappi, Two Were Called.) Randall understudied his part. NAT's recent revival of The Gin Game performed to half-full houses despite the presence of Durning and Julie Harris. The good news is that the show is touring nationally with Durning and Harris, starting in October in Raleigh-Durham NC. The show will then travel to Cleveland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Phoenix, winding up in Boston in April 1999.