Report: Kushner's Homebody/Kabul to Return to New York in Spring 2004

News   Report: Kushner's Homebody/Kabul to Return to New York in Spring 2004 Tony Kushner's play Homebody/Kabul, which debuted at New York Theatre Workshop in December 2001, will return to the New York City area in spring 2004, reported the Village Voice.

The two-part, 3-1/2-hour opus, which has been extensively revised in subsequent productions in Chicago and Los Angeles, will grace the stage of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, according to a Voice interview with Kushner. A spokesman at BAM could not confirm any booking of the play.

If the production does occur, it will offer an unusual chance for the New York theatregoing public to view two versions of a new drama within a relatively short period of time. The new mounting would likely be directed by Frank Galati, who staged the Steppenwolf Theatre Company staging in Chicago and the Mark Taper Forum engagement in Los Angeles. The later production ended on Nov. 9 and starred film actress Maggie Gyllenhaal ("Secretary") and original Off-Broadway star Linda Emond (Life x 3).

Galati previously told Playbill On-Line that the play, set in London and Afghanistan, is now somewhat shorter and has been re-structured. Instead of the long Homebody monologue comprising the entire first act—as it did Off-Broadway—intermission is now preceded by that speech and four scenes from the Kabul section, which introduces the family of the Homebody character (played by Emond). The first act now concludes with a new scene between Priscilla, the Homebody's daughter (played by Gyllenhaal), and the Afghan guide she befriends.

In New York, the guide was played by an old man. The character is now considerably younger. "It was interesting to make this relationship more complicated that just this old geezer taking this young girl around for the purpose of smuggling information through her to supporters of the Northern Alliance," said Galati.

The Los Angeles cast also included Firdous Bamji, Reed Birney, Bill Camp, Rahul Gupta, Maz Jobrani, Dariush Kashani, Marshall Manesh and Rita Wolf. Homebody/Kabul debuted at Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop at a time when the play's setting of Afghanistan has become a major focal point of the world, due to the Bush administration's post-9/11 war against Al Queda, the terrorist group which was then based in that country. Afghanistan, as well as Iraq, continue to be in the news, due to the still-festering U.S. military situations in both lands.

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