Oscar Winner Paquin to Star Off-Broadway in Roulette

News   Oscar Winner Paquin to Star Off-Broadway in Roulette Academy Award winner Anna Paquin will be part of the Off-Broadway cast of Roulette, a new play by screenwriter Paul Weitz that was presented this past August at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theatre and will be produced Off-Broadway by Ensemble Studio Theatre.

A spokesperson for the play confirmed that Paquin will join "Saturday Night Live" alum Ana Gasteyer, Proof's Larry Bryggman and Scotland Road's Leslie Lyles for the Off-Broadway run of Weitz's play. Roulette will begin performances at the John Houseman Theatre January 30, 2004, with an official opening scheduled for Feb. 15. The limited engagement ends Feb. 29.

Roulette concerns a suburban father who thinks a good way to stir up his life is with a good round of Russian roulette. Needless to say, there is some fallout. Paquin, who received an Academy Award for her performance in "The Piano," told the Times, "I laughed hysterically [when I read the script]. But I laughed at parts in which I wasn't sure I should be laughing." The playwright added, "It's a very dark comedy set in the suburbs . . . A cross between A. R. Gurney and Joe Orton."

Paquin made her stage debut Off-Broadway in Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living at the MCC Theatre.

Weitz co-wrote the screenplay to the films "Antz" and "About a Boy" (Oscar nomination) and directed "American Pie" and produced its sequels. Weitz is a scion of an artistic family. His grandparents were film producer and agent Paul Kohner and actress Lupita Tover. His father was fashion designer and novelist John Weitz and his uncle Pancho Kohner another movie producer. His brother Chris produced the "American Pie" series, and co-directed "About a Boy" with Paul.

Craig Bierko starred in the Vassar presentation of Roulette. That cast also included Mark Blum (The Best Man, Lost in Yonkers), Matt Bomer, Merritt Weaver, Carolyn McCormick and Maddie Corman. The John Houseman Theatre is located at 450 West 42nd Street. Tickets are available by visiting Click here.

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