PLAYBILL.COM’S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Nov. 18-24: Back in Town

News   PLAYBILL.COM’S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Nov. 18-24: Back in Town Donna Murphy, who has been laying low since her last Broadway starring role in Wonderful Town, which brought her a lot of good press (glowing reviews, a Tony nomination) and bad press (tabloid and internet sniping over her absentee record), will re-enter the scene in a major way in the next several months.

Donna Murphy will play Phyllis Stone in the City Center Encores! Follies
Donna Murphy will play Phyllis Stone in the City Center Encores! Follies Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The actress—the recipient of two Tony Awards, for Passion and The King and I—will return to Broadway for the first time since Wonderful Town in LoveMusik. Harold Prince will direct the musical telling of the romance of Broadway composer Kurt Weill and his wife, singer Lotte Lenya, a prime interpreter of his work. Alfred Uhry has written the book. Murphy, of course, will play Lenya. Her Weill will be Broadway’s favorite baldie, Michael Cerveris (Assassins, Sweeney Todd). David Pittu will have the not incidental role of Bertolt Brecht.

Opening night at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre is May 3, 2007, following previews from April 12. Prince has a little experience with Lenya; he directed her in the original Broadway production of Cabaret, in which she played Frau Schneider.

Before LoveMusik bows, Murphy will sink her teeth into another meaty role. She will play the embittered trophy wife Phyllis in the City Center Encores! presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s iconic Follies. She will join the previously announced Victoria Clark as Sally Durant Plummer, Michael McGrath as Buddy Plummer, Philip Bosco as Dimitri Weismann, Robert Fitch as Theodore Whitman, Christine Baranski as Carlotta Campion, Lucine Amara as Heidi Schiller, Joanne Worley as Stella Deems, Gerry Vichi as Max Deems, Arthur Rubin as Roscoe, Yvonne Constant as Solange, Leena Chopra as Young Heidi, Dorothy Stanley as Dee Dee West and Diane J. Findlay as Sandra Cranes.

I wouldn’t mention every cast member, but this is the sort of show when people are interested in who’s playing every single role.

*** Speaking of Christine Baranski, she headlines Regrets Only, the Paul Rudnick comedy which opened Nov. 19. At this point, Rudnick must be tired of being called the foremost forger of witty quips in the American theatre. It’s been his rep for more than ten years. But, once again, critics applauded his way with the epigram and the zinger, while finding less to say about his sense of structure and depth of message. All, however, welcomed Baranski back with open arms.

***

Kevin Spacey is coming back to Broadway, and the vehicle is once again O’Neill. The acclaimed Old Vic London staging of A Moon for the Misbegotten will transfer to Broadway with him in it. His London co-stars Eve Best and Colm Meaney will make the trip as well. Previews will begin at the Brooks Atkinson March 29, 2007, with an official opening April 9. The play has not long been absent from Broadway. In 2000, a production starred Cherry Jones, Roy Dotrice and Gabriel Byrne.

Spacey evidently feels safe in the arms of Eugene. His previous Broadway appearances include Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh.

Today’s Most Popular News: