Michael Frayn's hit London play, Copenhagen, is strongly targeting Broadway for late February-March 2000, with casting expected by mid December. Production spokesperson Adrian Bryan-Brown told Playbill On Line work on the show won't really get into high gear until director Michael Blakemore finishes his duties on the highly-anticipated revival of Kiss Me, Kate, opening tonight, Nov. 18.
Lead producers on Copenhagen are the Nederlander Organization, Elizabeth McCann and Terry Allen Kramer. Copenhagen received its world premiere at the Royal National Theatre's Cottesloe venue May 28, 1998 and later transferred to the West End's Duchess Theatre, where it was at first scheduled to run to Aug. 7 but is now selling tickets through Feb. 5, 2000.
The play follows German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who, in 1941, made a trip to Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. They were old friends, and their work together had opened the way into the atom, but now they were on opposite sides of a world war, and the meeting would end in disaster. Scientists and historians have argued ever since about why Heisenberg went and what the two men said to each other. Copenhagen retraces their journey through the mysteries of the world around us -- and on into the even stranger mysteries of the world within.
Copenhagen had its Italian premiere Nov. 9-20 at the 200-seat Teatro San Giorgio in Udine, Northern Italy. A tour of major Italian cities is expected to follow in 2000-2001. Umberto Orsini played Niels Bohr, with Massimo Popolizio playing Werner Heisenberg and Giuliana Lojodice playing Bohr's wife. Mauro Avogadro directed the mounting, produced by Udine's Centro Servizi e Spettacoli.
Michael Frayn's stage plays include Alphabetical Order, Make and Break and Noises Off, all of which received Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy of the Year and Benefactors which received the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year. His translated work includes The Cherry Orchard and Wild Honey for the National, Three Sisters, The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. He has published eight novels, a volume of philosophy and wrote the screenplays for "Clockwise," starring John Cleese, and "First and Last," which won an international Emmy Award. Director Blakemore has had a long association with Frayn, staging many of the plays mentioned. Before Kate his most recent work was the musical The Life by Cy Coleman in New York which received 12 Tony nominations, and the award-winning City of Angels in the West End. He had an Off-Broadway hit in 1995-96 with Death Defying Acts, three one act plays by Woody Allen, David Mamet and Elaine May. A former associate director at the RNT, Blakemore's many productions there include The Front Page, Long Day's Journey into Night and After the Fall.