PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, May 20-27: Hare and the Ladies

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, May 20-27: Hare and the Ladies British playwright David Hare never visits New York, it seems, but that he visits in force.
David Hare
David Hare Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Already soaking up attention and awards for his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Stuff Happens , he is busily working on two products which will land on Broadway in 2006-07. The largely male cast of Stuff Happens notwithstanding, ladies are usually the chief beneficiaries when Hare gets busy. And so it will be this fall, when Julianne Moore will ride Hare's new play The Vertical Hour to her Broadway debut. The freckled, red-headed film royal will play a young American war correspondent turned academic who now teaches Political Studies at Yale.

Moore on Broadway is an exciting proposition. But Hare's spring 2007 project is an even more heady enterprise. He will direct (but not write) a stage adaptation of "The Year of Magical Thinking," Joan Didion's bestselling memoir about the recent death of her novelist husband John Gregory Dunne. Producer Scott Rudin had only one actress in mind to play the stage version of Didion in the one-person play, and he got her: Vanessa Redgrave will return to Broadway in March, at the Booth Theatre.

Didion, Hare, Redgrave. It's enough to give New York's artistic snobs palpitations.

***

Unlike its title character, the musical Lestat will not live forever. Ever since New York critics interviewed Elton John and Bernie Taupin's singing vampire and decided he didn't get the job, people have been waiting for the coffin lid to be placed back on this show. The word came on May 23—Lestat will close on May 28. Don't feel to bad for Elton. He's still got Billy Elliot and lots of other projects to fill his time. As for Anne Rice, author of the Lestat books, her Lestat program bio says that last fall she published "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," which "is the beginning of her literary contribution to Christian art." That ought to keep her busy. ***

Nathan Lane and Simon Gray's Butley. This marriage of actor and play has been bandied about for a decade or so. This fall, it will finally happen. Nicholas Martin will direct a revival at the Booth, with Lane in the role first essayed by Alan Bates, of a professor who loses his wife and his love all in one day. Martin directed Lane in the same play in Boston in fall 2003, and Martin's Huntington Theatre Company will be a co-producer of the Broadway venture.

And no, Matthew Broderick won't be in this one.

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