Penn, Langella May Bring Gelbart's Sly Fox to Broadway in Fall

News   Penn, Langella May Bring Gelbart's Sly Fox to Broadway in Fall Director Arthur Penn, actor Frank Langella and producers Julian Schlossberg, Roy Furman and Ben Sprecher—the team that gave Broadway the surprise success, Fortune's Fool, last spring—may bring Larry Gelbart's comedy Sly Fox to Broadway this fall.

Schlossberg declined to discuss the production, cautioning that nothing had been set in stone, but a casting notice for the play indicated it would run in Stamford, CT, from Oct. 3 to Oct. 12 before reaching New York in November. That is the exact path Fortune's Fool took, beginning its life at the Stamford Center for the Arts. Though Langella is not mentioned in the notice, Penn and Langella had said publicly in 2002 that they were interested in collaborating on Sly Fox in the future. Langella would likely headline the play as conniving miser, Foxwell J. Sly. The role is listed as "cast" on the notice, as are the parts of Abner Truckle and Jethro Crouch.

Sly Fox is based on Ben Jonson's classic comedy of greed, Volpone. It was first produced on Broadway in 1976 and went on to run 495 performances. Penn directed that production as well. George C. Scott played the lead role of Sly, with Bob Dishy as Truckle and Jack Gilford as Crouch. Dishy won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony.

Fortune's Fool, a little know Turgenev play, took Broadway by stealth in spring 2002. The show quietly began previews March 8 at the Music Box Theatre and opened on April 2 to respectful-to-good reviews. The Tonys were a little more than respectful, though. Both Langella and Bates won trophies for their masterly portrayals. Their performances were widely regarded as among the best of the season and audiences lined up to feast on the expert acting. The staging ended its limited run on July 21.