On April 20, Night Must Fall, the Broadway chiller starring Matthew Broderick, becomes the latest tenant of Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre. John Tillinger's staging of Emlyn Williams' potboiler did well enough in its run at the Lyceum Theatre to transfer to the Helen Hayes scant weeks after Band in Berlin closed there.
(Night Must Fall closed at the Lyceum April 11 and was to move to the Hayes two days later, but that wasn't enough time for the full load in, so the reopening was postponed by a week.)
The move of Night Must Fall came as something of a surprise to the theatre community, for -- though the revival of the Emlyn Williams thriller garnered a positive notice from the Times -- it was always understood that the show would end on schedule, due to Broderick's commitment to appear in The Death of Papa, a new Horton Foote play at CT's Hartford Stage, May 27. A spokesperson for the National Actors Theatre said Broderick had given up that play to stay with Night Must Fall through the end of July.
Emlyn Williams' potboiler tells of a psychopathic bellboy and the spell he casts on several women in an English country house. The show began previews on Feb. 2 and opened March 8 at the Lyceum, with a cast of Broderick, J. Smith-Cameron (who replaced Pamela J. Gray in previews and is known for As Bees in Honey Drown), Judy Parfitt, Michael Countryman (Nine Armenians), Seana Kofoed, Patricia Kilgarriff and Peter McRobbie.
Tillinger's busy directing season has also included Getting and Spending and The Exact Center of the Universe. For tickets and information on Night Must Fall call (212) 239-6200. Student rush tickets are availible for $10.