Though reviews were mixed, audience interest in the Public Theatre's recent production of The Ride Down Mt. Morgan proved strong, thanks especially to two high-profile names: author Arthur Miller and star Patrick Stewart. For months, Miller has been saying in interviews that producers were intent on bringing the production to Broadway -- and now his predictions have been borne out.
As reported by the New York Times and confirmed by the Barlow Hartman press office, Mt. Morgan will ride to Broadway's Ambassador Theatre in March 2000, with preview and opening dates to be announced. Patrick Stewart will star, though there's no word yet on whether his acclaimed costar, Frances Conroy, or other castmembers (Meg Gibson, Kali Rocha, Oni Faida Lampley and John Vennema) will also make the uptown trip. The Shubert Organization, Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Spring Cirkin, and ABC Incorporated are producing the commercial move.
The Ambassador Theatre is current home to It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, which just announced its intent to close Jan. 9.
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan , directed at the Public by former CSC artistic director, David Esbjornson, looks at a bigamist who's devoted his life to the sybaritic indulgences of the Reagan era, only to find his values changed when he's confronted with a near-fatal car accident -- and both wives come to visit him. Stewart played the man; Conroy his wife of 25 years.
Author Miller told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 3) producers are negotiating to bring Mt. Morgan to Broadway in November, with the same cast the show had Off-Broadway. (That would include Stewart, Frances Conroy, Meg Gibson, Oni Faida Lampley, Kali Rocha and John Vennema. The well- received Conroy had stepped in for Blythe Danner, who left for family reasons.) The show opened Nov. 16, 1998 at the Public Theatre, after starting previews Nov. 3. The design team included John Arnone (sets), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Dan Moses Schreier (original music).
Stewart has starred on Broadway in the George C. Wolfe-directed The Tempest and his own one-man adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Miller's other plays include The Crucible, Mr. Peters' Connections and The American Clock. It's been a heady couple of years for the playwright, who not so long ago could barely get arrested on Broadway (which, at the time, was going through a strong infatuation with Tennessee Williams). Things started to change with recent, well-received Broadway mountings of A View From the Bridge and All My Sons, culminating in last season's Tony-winning Death of a Salesman. A well-received revival of The Price, featuring Jeffrey DeMunn and Bob Dishy, is currently playing at the Royale Theatre.