Broadway dates have been confirmed for Tom Stoppard’s drama, The Invention of Love. Directed by Jack O’Brien, the play will start previews March 1, 2001 and open March 29, 2001 at the Lyceum Theatre, which has been empty since Rose ended there in May.
Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton will play A.E. Housman young and old, respectively, in this Lincoln Center Theatre production. Rehearsals begin Jan. 18, 2001 for the show, which has yet to announce further casting, according to spokespersons at the Philip Rinaldi office.
The Invention of Love has been produced with success in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago, with productions planned for Washington, DC, and Boston. The Broadway mounting will be produced by Lincoln Center Theater.
Leonard is a Broadway and Off-Broadway regular. His credits include Arcadia, Philadelphia, Here I Come! and The Iceman Cometh.
The Invention of Love has as its central character 19th-century English poet A.E. Housman (1859-1936). Stoppard's story begins with Housman, old and infirm, dreaming he is dead and being ferried across the river Styx by the mythical boatman Charon. Houseman is best known for his collection of poems titled "A Shropshire Lad." Through his work, according to Invention of Love production notes, he expressed his lifelong unrequited passion for a fellow student at Oxford, Moses Jackson. The play had its U.S. premiere at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco last fall, with James Cromwell in the Houseman role. [See PBOL's "Brief Encounter" with Cromwell.] It then played Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre. Paxton Whitehead played Houseman at the Court Theatre in Chicago this past October, while the Huntington Theatre Company of Boston and the Studio Theatre of Washington, DC, will produce the drama next spring.
LCT has a history of introducing Stoppard's work to New York audiences. The theatre has hosted the Gotham premieres of Arcadia and Hapgood. Jack O'Brien directed the latter and will also pilot Invention; he’s currently riding high on the critical and box office of strength of The Full Monty. Bob Crowley will provide costume and scenic design.
Already on the LCT schedule for this season: Wendy Wasserstein's Old Money, Jon Robin Baitz's Ten Unknowns and John Guare's Chaucer in Rome. Contact continues at the Vivian Beaumont venue, currently in repertory with the limited run of Patti LuPone: matters of the heart.