Producer David Richenthal, director Robert Falls and actor Brian Dennehy—the team that gave Broadway the Tony winning revival of Death of a Salesman—will apparently join forces again for the Broadway-bound Long Day's Journey Into Night after all, Playbill On-Line has learned.
In recent days, it seemed the trio—which has been laboring toward a Broadway Journey for more than a year—had dissolved their association. Falls directed Dennehy in the O'Neill play at Chicago's Goodman Theatre earlier this year and Richenthal was on the record as weighing the production for a probable Broadway transfer this coming season.
However, Richenthal told Playbill On-Line May 10 that while he was still looking at the 2002-03 season, nobody on the Chicago creative team would be part of the Broadway Journey.
Anyone who has followed the twisty tale of this revival, though, should know that things do change. Word has it that Richenthal, Falls and Dennehy are again working together, and are endeavoring to blaze the surest path to New York. Sources close to the matter say much depends on the casting of the play's three other primary roles. The Chicago Journey also starred the Mary Tyrone of Pamela Payton-Wright, and Steve Pickering and David Cromer as the sons James Tyrone, Jr. and Edmund Tyrone—solid actors all, but perhaps not of the star caliber needed to support a Broadway mounting. Names like Jessica Lange, Robert Sean Leonard and Billy Crudup were once floated for the Chicago staging.
It could not be learned whether a Broadway Journey would be a limited run with a high top ticket price, along the lines of the current, Richenthal-backed mounting of The Crucible. *
Journey's journey to Broadway has been a bumpy and dramatic one. For more than a year, Dennehy remained the only announced star of the much-hyped, Broadway-bound venture. Then there was a murky business about which Journey would make it to Broadway first—the Goodman's or a London mounting, produced by Bill Kenwright and starring Jessica Lange. The showdown came to an end when Richenthal revealed he had been talking about the project "for several years" with Falls. Furthermore, he held the rights to produce Journey on Broadway.
For a while, it looked like the Goodman show might be a hybrid of both stagings. According to news accounts, Kenwright and the Goodman were to co-produce the play, with Falls directing , Dennehy as James Tyrone and Lange as Mary Tyrone. Kenwright countered by calling the idea of a Kenwright-Richenthal venture "pure fantasy." Nonetheless, Falls openly courted Lange for the mounting for a while. Falls also mentioned that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Billy Crudup were in contention to play the two Tyrone sons. Robert Sean Leonard was also sought for a role at one point.