Celebrities and press are expected to turn out in number for the official opening gala and dedication of Roundabout's American Airlines Theatre on July 27. Roundabout's American Airlines Theatre, located at 227 West 42nd Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue) was the former Selwyn Theatre. It has been reconstructed and painstakingly restored by the Roundabout at an estimated cost of $27 million.
The first production at the American Airlines Theatre, a revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play, The Man Who Came to Dinner, stars Nathan Lane and Jean Smart as well as Harriet Harris, Terry Beaver, Lewis J. Stadlen, William Duell, Byron Jennings, Linda Stephens and Julie Halston, all of whom will attend the July 27 opening ceremonies.
Also scheduled to attend are Lauren Bacall, John Lithgow, Lea Thompson, Amy Irving, Warren Leight, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Anne Kaufman Schneider, David Leveaux, David Shiner, Rob Marshall, Kathleen Marshall, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
While the historic dedication ceremony should and will be decidedly upbeat, the two actors with arguably the strongest connection to Roundabout's new theatre will unfortunately not be at the dedication ceremony. Liam Neeson and his wife, Natasha Richardson, are not expected to attend as Neeson is still recovering from surgery after being injured in a motorcycle accident north of New York City. Earlier reports indicated that despite the seriousness of his injuries, Neeson is expected to make a full recovery. Early boosters of the nonprofit's ambitious reconstruction of the theatre, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson contributed their talents to a film produced as part of a Roundabout fundraising effort. Prior to helping Roundabout launch the campaign, Richardson starred as Sally Bowles in Roundabout's 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret. The two met during Roundabout's revival of O'Neill's Anna Christie, in which they both starred.
-- By Murdoch McBride