The reason given for the move is Roundabout's concern over opening Vanya in time to meet the Tony Award eligibility deadline. Because this might be jeopardized by possible construction delays at the American Airlines Theatre, RTC's new home, the theatre made a preemptive change of venue.
There have been two delays to the start of the Uncle Vanya run already, and while they were not significant or extraordinary in terms of typical construction schedules, they no doubt put pressure on artistic director Todd Haimes, who told reporters last week that he had been trying to get Sir Derek Jacobi to the theatre for years.
In a paper statement Haimes was quoted as saying, "It would be devastating to the creative team and acting company if a construction delay at the American Airlines Theatre caused us to miss the season cut off."
Uncle Vanya will begin previews at the Brooks Atkinson on April 4. The show opens April 30 and will run through June 11. As reported earlier, Michael Mayer will direct the show which stars Sir Derek Jacobi, Laura Linney, Brian Murray and Roger Rees. The cast also includes Rita Gam (A Flag is Born), David Patrick Kelly (Twelfth Night), Anne Pitoniak (Amy's View and Picnic, which earned her a Tony nomination) and Amy Ryan (Three Sisters). The play was translated by Mike Poulton.
Tony Award-winner Derek Jacobi's film credits include "Hamlet," "The Secret Garden," "Breaking the Code," "Dead Again" and "Henry V." Jacobi was last seen on Broadway in the 1987 production of Breaking the Code and won his Tony for Much Ado About Nothing in 1985. Linney appeared in Honour, Holiday, The Seagull, and Six Degrees of Separation. She received a Drama Desk nomination for her Off Broadway performance in Sight Unseen and first appeared at the Roundabout in Hedda Gabler. Her film credits include "The House of Mirth," "Congo," "Simple Twist of Fate," "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and "The Truman Show."
Last seen at the Roundabout in Misalliance, Brian Murray has performed on Broadway in Twelfth Night, The Little Foxes (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Noises Off (Drama Desk Award) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Tony Award nomination) among others. Murray's Off-Broadway credits include Ashes (Obie Award), Travels With My Aunt (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), The Merry Wives of Windsor and Hamlet.
Rees' stage credits include The End of the Day, (Obie award) Indiscretions, (Tony nomination) The Misanthrope, and Love's Labours Lost, Cymbeline, and Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Rees garnered Tony and Olivier awards for his performance in Nicholas Nickelby and first appeared at the Roundabout in The Rehearsal.
With Vanya, director Mayer if helming his fourth play for RTC. His previous three productions include last year's Tony Award winning Best New Play, Side Man, the Tony winning revival of A View From the Bridge and The Lion in Winter starring Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing. Mayer's credits also include Triumph of Love, Stupid Kids, and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.
The production team for Vanya comprises set and costume designer Tony Walton, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and sound designer Mark Bennet.
Written in 1897, Uncle Vanya was first produced over the next year in provincial Russian theatres before opening at the Moscow Art Theatre on October 26, 1899. In Moscow, Stanislavski was cast in the role of Dr. Astrov. The Moscow Art Theatre staged the New York debut of the show in 1923, sparking a number of productions that have been staged over the past century. This Poulton translation was done in Chichester with Derek Jacobi in the title role before moving to London's West End.
Tickets for Uncle Vanya at the Brooks Atkinson range $35-$65. The Brooks Atkinson is located at 256 West 47th Street. For tickets call TicketMaster at (212) 307-4100.