The Present Sets Theatre and Dates for Cate Blanchett's Broadway Debut

News   The Present Sets Theatre and Dates for Cate Blanchett's Broadway Debut The Chekhov adaptation will arrive this fall.
Cate Blanchett and the cast of <i>The Visit</i>
Cate Blanchett and the cast of The Present Sydney Theatre Company

Producers of the new drama The Present have booked the Ethel Barrymore Theatre for two-time Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, who will make her long-overdue Broadway debut this fall in The Present, Andrew Upton's drama based on Anton Chekhov's Platonov.

Richard Roxburgh will co-star in the production, which begins previews December 17 and opens January 8, 2017, for a limited run scheduled through March 19, 2017.

Tickets go on sale exclusively to American Express card holders June 1. Audience Rewards members can buy tickets beginning June 8, and the on-sale date to the general public is June 11 by calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting Telecharge.com.

Blanchett originated her performance at the Sydney Theatre Company in her native Australia, where both she and the play were nominated for 2015 Sydney Theatre Awards. Script adapter Upton is Blanchett's husband.

Roxburgh, who will also be making his Broadway debut, was seen with Blanchett on the New York stage in Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Upton’s adaptation of another Chekhov play, Uncle Vanya.

In additon to Blanchett (Anna) and Roxburgh (Mikhail), the cast includes Anna Bamford (Maria), Andrew Buchanan (Osip), David Downer (Yegor), Eamon Farren (Kirrill), Martin Jacobs (Alexei), Brandon McClelland (Dimitri), Jacqueline McKenzie (Sophia), Marshall Napier (Ivan), Susan Prior (Sasha), Chris Ryan (Sergei) and Toby Schmitz (Nikolai).

Presented variously under the English-language titles Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited, the original late 19th century play has been transposed in time to the late 20th century. The drama is now set in “post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). At the center is the acerbic and witty Platonov (Roxburgh) with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fuelled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire,” according to production notes.

Blanchett appeared Off-Broadway in Sydney Theatre Company’s productions of Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Maids. Blanchett's distinguished career has included seven Academy Award nominations, and two wins: for her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine (based on A Streetcar Named Desire), and The Aviator, in which she played a role based on another film star, Katharine Hepburn. Notable among her other roles is the Elf queen Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings films.

The Present will be directed by John Crowley. Set and costume design are by Alice Babidge with lighting design by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is sound designer and composer. The show will be produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Sydney Theatre Company.