Back in February 2000, the Actors Studio in New York was seeking an Off Broadway venue for a mounting of Oedipus Rex, to star Al Pacino alongside a host of notable studio alumni. That didn't happen, but the project is far from an ancient myth.
The New York Times reports (Nov. 9) that three readings of Sophocles' tragedy will take place, Saturdays Nov. 10, 17 and 24 at the Actors Studio, 432 West 44th Street. Along with Pacino as King Oedipus, the readings will feature Dianne Wiest, Bob Dishy and Victor Slezak. Estelle Parsons, artistic director of the organization, directs.
Pacino had told the the Times in February 2000, "We hope for it to be a commercial run. But we're not quite sure when these [actors] will have the time to do it." At the time, performers involved in rehearsals included Wiest (alternating with Mary Beth Hurt as Jocasta), Earle Hyman, Ruby Dee, B.D. Wong, and Edward Herrmann and David Strathairn alternating as Creon.
Pacino was last seen on the New York stage in O'Neill's Hughie at Circle in the Square. The actor won a Tony for his work in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. In films, he can currently be seen in "The Insider" and "Any Given Sunday."
The Actors Studio has become more high profile in recent years owing to the Bravo TV series, "Inside the Actors Studio," with host/interviewer James Lipton becoming something of a celebrity himself. For reservations for the free Oedipus Rex readings, call (212) 757 0870.
— By David Lefkowitz and Robert Simonson