Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton will play A.E. Housman young and old, respectively, in Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love, due on Broadway in spring 2001. The play — which has been produced with success in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago, with productions planned for Washington, DC, and Boston — will be produced by Lincoln Center Theater, and play at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre.
Leonard is a Broadway and Off-Broadway regular. His credits include Arcadia, Philadelphia, Here I Come! and The Iceman Cometh.
The Invention of Love has as its central character 19th-century English poet A.E. Housman (1859-1936). Stoppard's story begins with Housman, old and infirm, dreaming he is dead and being ferried across the river Styx by the mythical boatman Charon. Houseman is best known for his collection of poems titled "A Shropshire Lad." Through his work, according to Invention of Love production notes, he expressed his lifelong unrequited passion for a fellow student at Oxford, Moses Jackson.
The play had its U.S. premiere at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco last fall, with James Cromwell in the Houseman role. [See PBOL's "Brief Encounter" with Cromwell.] It then played Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre. Paxton Whitehead will play Houseman at the Court Theatre in Chicago this fall, while the Huntington Theatre Company of Boston and the Studio Theatre of Washington, DC, will produce the drama next spring.
LCT has a history of introducing Stoppard's work to New York audiences. The theatre has hosted the Gotham premieres of Arcadia and Hapgood. Jack O'Brien directed the latter and will also pilot Invention. Bob Crowley will provide costume and scenic design. No casting has been announced.
Already on the LCT schedule for this season: Wendy Wasserstein's Old Money, Jon Robin Baitz's Ten Unknowns and John Guare's Chaucer in Rome.