Yes, Virginia, there is life after "Home Alone" - and it's a life in the theatre. Former child film star Macaulay Culkin , who received excellent reviews for his West End debut in Madame Melville, will stay with the show in London until March, and then plans are afoot to bring the production to New York. UK co-stars Irene Jacob and Madeleine Potter will also be part of the planned New York transfer, as is the design team, according to a spokesperson at The Publicity Office.
Although Broadway theatres appear to be solidly booked for the rest of the winter and spring, lead producers Gregory Mosher and Bill Haber haven't discounted the possibility of a midtown venue opening up in time for a run this season. Otherwise, sources say the Promenade Theatre, the Off Broadway venue where The Unexpected Man closes Jan. 28, may be the likeliest home for Madame Melville. Concrete New York plans will likely be announced shortly after the new year.
Madame Melville, by Richard Nelson, began previews Oct. 7 and opened at London's Vaudeville Theatre Oct. 18. Culkin, reportedly, auditioned for the role of the young man who is seduced by his thirty-something French teacher in a bid to resuscitate his stalled acting career. Now 19, he became a phenomenon in the early 1990s with starring roles in films including "Home Alone," "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," "My Girl," "The Good Son" and "Richie Rich." As with many child stars, Culkin had trouble securing parts as he got older. Personal and professional problems, particularly with his separated parents who waged a fierce custody battle for control over him and his finances, didn't help. Culkin's last film role was in 1994's "Getting Even with Dad."
Irene Jacob is one of France's leading actresses. In addition to her roles in numerous French films, including Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Red" and "The Double Life of Veronique," she has appeared in many English-language films including "My Life So Far," "The Big Brass Ring," "US Marshalls," "Incognito," "Othello" and "All Men Are Mortal."
Madeleine Potter had been ubiquitous on New York stages throughout the early-to-mid 1990s but is now based in London. Her Broadway roles include Getting Married and all three shows in the first season at National Actors Theatre, including The Crucible, The Master Builder and A Little Hotel On the Side. Madame Melville is produced in the West End by Gregory Mosher, Adam Kenwright and Andrew Fell. For further information, contact the Vaudeville box office on 011-44-20-7836-9987.
Author Nelson told reporters, backstage at the 2000 Tonys last June, that Madame Melville would reach Broadway this fall, with Nelson himself directing. The Express report appears to mark a shift from a New York to a London premiere.
Nelson won a Tony for his book to James Joyce's The Dead, which he co-wrote and directed and which played Broadway this season. The Dead, a musical adaptation of James Joyce's short story, originated at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons last fall. It quickly sold out and transferred to Broadway, but closed in April. It failed to win any other Tony Awards, including that for best musical, but one of its stars, Blair Brown, won for her performance in Copenhagen.
Nelson's other plays include New England, Some Americans Abroad and Two Shakespearean Actors.