Last season, Broadway hosted, briefly, Coleman and Valene, the two loathsome brothers of Martin McDonagh's The Lonesome West. Now this season, New Yorkers will get a chance to see their spiritual ancestors, Austin and Lee, the sparring siblings of Sam Shepard's True West. Ron Kastner (RJK Productions) will be producing a revival of Shepard's 1980 dark comedy, due to start previews Feb. 15, 2000, at the Circle in the Square Theatre. According to the New York Times, Off-Broadway veteran Philip Seymour Hoffman and Chicago actor John C. Reilly will star as the brothers who end up completely reversing their value systems. Hoffman's recent New York credits include The Skriker, The Author's Voice and Shopping And Fucking. Reilly followed Chicago's Steppenwolf troupe to Broadway in The Grapes of Wrath in 1990. The Times reports that not only did Reilly and Hoffman appear together in such films as "Hard Eight" and "Boogie Nights," Reilly was instrumental in bringing Hoffman on board for True West.
Matthew Warchus, who directed True West in London in 1994, will helm the staging, which will be the first time the show has made it to Broadway. Its 1980 debut, at the Public Theater, featured Peter Boyle and Tommy Lee Jones. The more famous 1982 staging at the Cherry Lane Theatre featured Chicago actors Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. Their pairing was eventually taped for broadcast on public television.
Other plays by Shepard include Simpatico (recently filmed by director Warchus), Cowboys, Seduced, A Lie of the Mind and Curse of the Starving Class. 1978's Buried Child won the Pulitzer Prize and received a recent Broadway revival featuring Sinise.