The Roundabout Theatre Company's February 2002 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's first Broadway play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, has its second film star. Starring opposite the already-announced Chris O'Donnell will be Samatha Mathis, Variety reported.
The play was Miller's intriguing 1944 Broadway flop that came before both his breakout hit, All My Sons, and the towering Death of a Salesman. Scott Ellis directed O'Donnell at Williamstown (the run was July 18-29 in Massachusetts) and will helm the Roundabout staging at the American Airlines Theatre. Previews begin Feb. 8, 2002. Opening is set for March 14, 2002.
Mathis has acted in movies since she was a teenager. Her first major role was in the Christian Slater vehicle "Pump Up the Volume." Since then she has starred in "Little Women," "Broken Arrow," "The American President," and "American Psycho." She was also in the cast of the TV series "First Years." Born in Brooklyn to actress Bibi Besch, she began appearing in commercials at an early age.
Boyish O'Donnell spent the 1990s starring in such films as "Scent of a Woman" with Al Pacino, "Men Don't Leave" with Jessica Lange and "Circle of Friends" with Minnie Driver. His most widely-seen performance, however, was probably as Robin in "Batman Forever," the 1995 addition to the "Batman" movie franchise. He recently appeared in "Vertical Limit."
He'll play the title role of David in the Miller play. The Man Who Had All the Luck is described in press notes as "a charming story of the fate of a young Midwestern man whose fortune shines on him while it passes over everyone else around him. The play wrestles with the unanswerable — the question of the justice of fate, how it was that one man failed and another, no more or less capable, achieved some glory in life." Miller wrote the play in 1940. It takes place in 1938 during the end of the Depression, and as Europe was heading into war.
O'Donnell was praised for his stage debut this summer. Scott Ellis is the associate artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre Company. For Roundabout, he directed the Broadway revival of The Rainmaker with Woody Harrelson and Jayne Atkinson, 1776, She Loves Me and Company. He'll helm the company's revised revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical, The Boys From Syracuse, opening July 11, 2002 (the tuner was bumped from March 2002 to summer to accommodate The Man Who Had All the Luck).
This new staging of The Man Who Had All the Luck originated with a reading for the Roundabout's donors in early 2000, directed by Scott Ellis. The Main Stage production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Ellis, followed, with an ensemble cast including Mason Adams, Jennifer Dundas, O'Donnell, James Rebhorn and Sam Robards.
Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan, where two of his plays were produced in 1934. When he graduated in 1938 he began working with the Federal Theatre Project and wrote radio plays for CBS and the Cavalcade of America. His post-Luck plays include All My Sons (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972), The American Clock (1980), The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993) and Broken Glass (1994), among others.