The Graduate made a three-city tour of North America before settling into its current hit run on Broadway. Now the popular stage adaptation of the 1967 film will soon be heading back into the hinterlands.
A spokesman for the tour said the Terry Johnson play will have a life in the provinces, but no details—from cities, to launch date to cast—have been decided upon. True, a summer 2003 stop at San Francisco's Curran Theatre has already been announced, but it cannot be said at present whether that engagement will be part of the road show or not.
One would assume the touring show would not feature Kathleen Turner, who has proved a big draw in Baltimore, Toronto, Boston and now Broadway—not to mention London, when the film star created the role of the predatory Mrs. Robinson. In the London production, a line of well known actresses, including Anne Archer and Linda Gray, and celebrity Jerry Hall, succeeded Turner in the part.
The Graduate opened at Broadway's Plymouth Theatre April 4 to largely negative reviews and a sizzling box office. Indeed, the mounting is shaping up to be the most commercially successful of the Broadway season's straight plays. Johnson's stage adaptation of the classic film and Charles Webb novel has already racked up an advance sale of more than $5 million, a record breaking tally for a non-musical Broadway production.
Co-starring with Turner — who was last on Broadway in Jean Cocteau's Indiscretions — are Jason Biggs of "American Pie" fame and former "Clueless" star Alicia Silverstone. Biggs portrays Benjamin Braddock, the role created on screen by Dustin Hoffman, a recent college graduate who becomes involved with both Mrs. Robinson, an old family friend, and, later, her daughter Elaine (Silverstone).
Much has been written about the notorious towel-dropping scene played to memorable effect on screen by Anne Bancroft. The Broadway production does include the moment (it is actually the very first scene in the two hour-and-fifteen minute evening), which requires the 47-year-old Turner to appear completely nude onstage for approximately 15 seconds. Turner also spends a goodly amount of time in various states of disrobe during an extended trysting scene with Biggs.
Author-director Johnson also staged the London mounting, produced in the West End (and on Broadway) by John Reid and Sacha Brooks. The show opened at the Gielgud April 5, 2000. Reid and Brooks are still the lead producers, in association with Clear Channel Entertainment and StudioCanal.
Tickets range $40-$75. The Plymouth Theatre is at 236 W. 45th Street. For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432 7250.