A major Broadway revival of The Little Foxes, Lillian Hellman's 1939 drama about members of a Southern clan battling for control of the family fortune, opened April 27 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center.
Stockard Channing, who appeared at Lincoln Center in Hapgood,, also directed by Jack O'Brien, stars as Regina Hubbard Giddens, a role interpreted previously on Broadway by Tallulah Bankhead, Anne Bancroft and Elizabeth Taylor, and on film by Bette Davis.
Kenneth Welsh plays her weak, and weakening, husband -- and Jennifer Dundas fromArcadia will be seen as their surprisingly spunky offspring, Alexandra. Regina's blustery brother and her quietly boozy sister-in-law, Birdie, will be played by Brian Murray and Frances Conroy. Remaining roles in the play have been assigned to Richard E. Council, Ethel Ayler and Charles Turner.
The cast also includes Brian Kerwin and Frederick (The Rehearsal) Weller.
Channing told playwright John Guare (in a New York Magazine interview), "Because of the movie [of Little Foxes] I thought I knew the play, but the play surprised me. I knew it was about sex and money, but Regina wasn't this villainess out of some outdated melodrama, twirling her mustaches. I loved her gusto, her ability to think on her feet, to turn on a dime... I don't want to step aside from her venality or her grossness. She's a woman who wants the one thing she never had -- freedom. And her own money. What's the price of that?" Said Channing, "Little Foxes is set in this time when America was ready to break open on the world scene. If it was written about today, it'd have to take place in Australia -- no, South Africa. A society ready to declare itself."
To read Playbill's interview with Channing, see "Stockard Channing Stalks 'Little Foxes' on Broadway" in Theatre Features.
Channing's other stage roles include the John Guare plays Four Baboons Adoring The Sun, Six Degrees Of Separation and The House Of Blue Leaves. Conroy starred on Broadway in Broken Glass, The Secret Rapture and this season's The Rehearsal. Dundas is leaving Off-Broadway's Good As New to join the Foxes cast. Murray, a ubiquitous NY theatre actor, starred in Racing Demon, A Small Family Business and Off-Broadway in The Entertainer, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Travels With My Aunt, Molly Sweeney and Da.
Hellman, who died in 1984, is also the author of Watch On The Rhine, The Children's Hour, Days To Come and The Searching Wind.
For tickets ($35-$50) and information on The Little Foxes, which begins previews April 3, call (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.