Julie Taymor's Green Bird will begin previews April 1, 2000 at the Cort Theatre, which loses its current tenant, Kat and the Kings, Jan. 2. A production spokesperson said the Taymor show will open mid-April, with the exact date yet to be determined, and that auditions will take place soon.
"Julie will be in New York next week auditioning," the source told Playbill On-Line.
The Tony Award-winning director of Disney's The Lion King will include cast members from the original 1996, off-Broadway production of the play, but pending deals preclude any specific announcements at this time. Featured in the original production of Green Bird were cast members Trellis Stepter, Andrew Weems, Didi Conn, Ned Eisenberg, Myriam Cyr, Sebastian Roche, Bruce Turk, Kristine Nielsen, Priscilla Shanks, Lee Lewis and Erico Villanueva.
Joining Taymor in the production of Carlo Gozzi's fable will be composer and longtime collaborator Elliott Goldenthal, set designer Christine Jones, costume designer Constance Hoofman and lighting designer Donald Holder, who won a Tony Award for his work on The Lion King.
Green Bird will be presented by Theatre for A New Audience with artistic/producing director Jeffrey Horowitz and producer Bill Haber. Taymor, who has just finished work on her recent film "Titus Andronicus," is riding high. "She's having a great time," her spokesperson said. "She's just had the opening of Lion King in London to great acclaim, there's "Titus," and this show will be opening on Broadway."
As reported earlier Green Bird is performed with puppets and half masks, and was written by Italian playwright, Carlo Gozzi in the 18th century. The play follows a pair of orphaned twins, Renzo and Barbarina, who stumble upon fantastical characters like the singing apples and the dancing water while pursuing the mystical "green bird."
Taymor's Green Bird debuted to critical acclaim at Off-Broadway's New Victory Theatre in spring 1996. That production played just 15 performances and garnered Derek Smith an OBIE award for acting.
Taymor has described Bird as "thoroughly entertaining, but also having a wonderful grotesquery and poetry to it -- an edgy bawdiness.''
This production of Green Bird will be Taymor's third on Broadway, aside from Lion King, her breakthrough collaboration with Goldenthal, and Juan Darien which was produced in New York before eventually opening at Lincoln Center Theater.