The production is surely unique in the annals of Broadway in that it will begin its run with a star who will not be on stage when the play officially begins. Dallas Roberts was the actor first announced to play the central role of Tom Wingfield. However, on Feb. 21 it was announced that Roberts had been replaced by Slater. As Slater needs more rehearsal time to get up to speed, Lange and company will start their run with the Tom of Joey Collins.
No reason was officially given for the cast change, but it was generally understood to be a creative decision on the part of director David Leveaux and producer Bill Kenwright.
Completing the cast are Sarah Paulson as Laura, and Josh Lucas as The Gentleman Caller.
Slater has recently been concentrating on stage work in London. He played the lead in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, and was recently announced for a new London production of Sweet Bird of Youth. On Broadway, he starred in Side Man. His well known film roles include "Heathers," "Pump Up the Volume" and "True Romance."
Lange appeared on Broadway in the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche Du Bois opposite Alec Baldwin. The actress won Academy Awards for her roles in "Blue Sky" and "Tootsie" and she was also Oscar-nominated for her work in "Music Box," "Sweet Dreams," "Country" and "Frances." Director David Leveaux is currently represented on Broadway by the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. He has been Tony Award-nominated for his stagings of Jumpers, Nine, The Real Thing, Anna Christie and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Other Broadway credits include Betrayal and Electra.
The Glass Menagerie premiered on Broadway at the Playhouse Theatre in 1945. Directed by Eddie Dowling and Margo Jones, the original production featured Laurette Taylor as Amanda, Eddie Dowling as Tom, Julie Haydon as Laura and Anthony Ross as Jim. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented the Tennessee Williams play in summer 2004 starring Sally Field as Amanda.