Men and women at cross-purposes will be a recurring theme in the new season at NY's Roundabout Theatre Company. From John & Abigail Adams quarreling in 1776 to the Carbones' unstable marriage in A View From The Bridge. From an Impossible Marriage by Beth Henley, to a crumbling one in Pinter's Ashes To Ashes. From feudin' royals in the Lion In Winter to the love triangle of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Dates for most of the shows are still to be announced, but company's press office puts the tentative order as 1776 followed by A View From The Bridge on the Broadway mainstage; Misalliance followed by Cyrano at the Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre. The venues for the other productions were not announced.
1776, the Peter Stone, Sherman Edwards & Scott Ellis musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence opened Aug. 14. "Star Trek: The Next Generation's" Brent Spiner stars, alongside Pat Hingle as Benjamin Franklin, Michael Cumpsty as John D
The musical director is Paul Gemignani, with orchestrations by Brian Besterman and choreography by Kathleen Marshall. Sets are by Tony Walton (Forum), costumes by William Ivey Long (Chicago) and sound by Brian Ronan (sound). 1776 runs to Nov. 16. At the Laura Pels, David Warren (Summer And Smoke) directs George Bernard Shaw's 1909 comedy, Misalliance, about "intertwined courtships." Beginning performances July 18, Misalliance opened Aug. 7 with a run through Nov. 16. The show concerns love and marriage at an English country house.
Starring are Brian Murray, recently nominated for a Tony for his role as the evil capitalist brother in The Little Foxes (which closes June 15). A regular on and Off-Broadway, Murray has appeared in The Entertainer, Travels With My Aunt and A Small Family Business. Here he'll play Mr. Tarleton.
Fresh from playing Quincy Quince in An American Daughter, Elizabeth Marvel will play Lina in Misalliance. Previous roles for Marvel include Silence Cunning Exile and Arts & Leisure.
Joanna Going (The Flowering Peach) plays Hypatia; Patricia Conolly (The Heiress) plays Mrs. Connolly. Also in the cast are Zak Orth, Remak Ramsey (Quartermaine's Terms), Don Reilley, and Alan Tudyk, who won raves for playing a gazillion cartoony characters in Bunny Bunny.
The author of The Miss Firecracker Contest and Crimes Of The Heart returns to New York with Impossible Marriage, about a woman married to a man "over twice her age, balding, overweight and rumored to be a philanderer." The comedy/drama will star Holly Hunter, best known for her film-work in The Piano and Broadcast News. She also starred in Henley's The Wake Of Jamey Foster on Broadway in 1982.
Also set for the upcoming season is a revival of James Goldman's The Lion In Winter, concerning the sparring match between King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, circa 1183. Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole starred in the famous 1968 film. No word on whether the Henley or Goldman plays will be presented on Broadway or Off-.
Long rumored for the Roundabout in Feb. 1998 -- and still up in the air -- is a production of Harold Pinter's latest, Ashes To Ashes, which opened at London's Royal Court Theatre, Sept. 1996. According to a story in Variety (June 30), because Pinter wants to direct, and because the Roundabout wants original stars Stephen Rea (Someone Who'll Watch Over Me) and Lindsay Duncan to appear, setting a date for this season has been extremely difficult.
Roundabout spokesperson Erin Dunn told Playbill On-Line (July 3) that several different scenarios could happen at this point. "It's very up in the air and may or may not happen, though, of course, we hope it does."
Though film and stage actor, Liam Neeson, told television interviewer Larry King in Nov. 1996 that he'd be playing Cyrano de Bergerac at the s Roundabout in fall 1997, the deal did not happen. Instead, Frank Langella, the star of this season's Present Laughter, will play the big-nosed tragicomic hero of Edmund Rostand's play.
Not only that, he's adapting and directing Cyrano de Bergerac as a chamber piece for ten actors, to go into the Laura Pels. According to spokespersons for the Roundabout Theatre, artistic director Todd Haimes and Langella have been discussing such a project for five years. Cyrano is to open in November.
Billed as "a contemporary musical fable," a new musical featuring the hit songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David will open at the Roundabout Theatre, summer 1998. Gillian Lynne will direct and choreograph the revue, which will have a book by Kenny Solms, based on an idea by Solms and Lynne.
No doubt interest in Bacharach & David's work was rekindled by the wildly acclaimed Encores! concert staging of Promises, Promises in March. Songs by the pair include "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again."
Lynne is the director of Cats and Phantom Of The Opera.
After a successful recent revival of All My Sons, the Roundabout will continue its investigation of Arthur Miller's works with a revival of A View From The Bridge. Anthony LaPaglia (The Rose Tattoo) will star in this tragic look at a man afraid of losing his daughter -- and the security of his own sexuality. Michael Mayer directs -- a real coup, since he's also directing the highly-anticipated musical Triumph Of Love earlier in the season. Mayer directed Craig Lucas' Missing Persons in 1995 at NY's Atlantic Theatre Company, and he conceived and staged the WPA revue, Hundreds Of Hats. A View From The Bridge, penned as a long one-act in 1955 and then expanded the following year, begins previews Nov. 25, opens Dec. 14 and runs to Feb. 1, 1998.
Roundabout has announced that theatregoers who purchased memberships (i.e., subscriptions) to the 1996-97 season at the now-defunct Circle In The Square, can buy $10 tickets to shows in the 1997-98 Roundabout season. Circle is closed indefinitely due to an outstanding $2 million debt that could not be overcome.
Circle members should fax -- (212) 869-8817 -- or mail their name, address and a copy of their membership card to the Roundabout Theatre: 1530 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. The idea is to keep nurturing an audience for not-for-profit theatres, and to keep encouraging subscriptions in an era when upfront money is important to theatres.