After hosting The Sunshine Boys' Broadway revival for 242 performances, the Lyceum Theatre is entitled to rest for a few weeks, but come late autumn the National Actors Theatre will be back up with its next season. As reported by Theatrical Index (July 6), the next N.A.T. show will be a revival of Emlyn Williams' murder mystery, Night Must Fall, to be directed by John Tillinger.
Tillinger's Broadway credits include the aforementioned Sunshine Boys, Loot and Arthur Miller's Broken Glass and The Price.
Casting is currently underway. According to spokesperson Charlie Siedenburg (of the Springer/Chicoine press office), Night Must Fall will open in late fall/early winter at the Lyceum for a limited engagement.
After a London staging in 1935, Night Must Fall premiered at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1936. Other plays by (George) Emlyn Williams include The Corn is Green and The Druid's Rest.
Tony Randall and Jack Klugman who endeared themselves to American TV viewers in the 1970s with the sitcom adaptation of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, ended their Broadway engagement in The Sunshine Boys, June 28. There are tentative plans for Klugman (75) and Randall (78) to tour after the Broadway engagement, but no itinerary has been set (as of July 7). The Sunshine Boys marks Randall & Klugman's third appearance under the auspices of NAT. The pair launched Randall's theatre company with a benefit performance of the original stage The Odd Couple and later appeared together in Three Men on a Horse. Klugman performed the strenuous role despite a throat ailment that has left him with limited use of his voice box.
Randall has singlemindedly and tirelessly boosted NAT, which he founded in the early 1990s as a way of getting the finest contemporary actors to perform seldom-seen classics and stretch their acting muscles. Some of the productions have been successful, including Brian Bedford in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens. But the company has struggled. A lauded 1996 revival of Inherit the Wind with George C. Scott and Charles Durning closed prematurely when Scott developed problems with his health and personal life. (Scott is now reported to be Broadway bound in a play by adman Nick Nappi, Two Were Called.) Randall understudied his part. NAT's recent revival of The Gin Game performed to half-full houses despite the presence of Durning and Julie Harris. The good news is that the show will definitely tour nationally with Durning and Harris, starting in October in Raleigh-Durham NC. The show will then travel to Cleveland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Phoenix, winding up in Boston in April 1999.