George C. Wolfe's staging of Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog ends its run at The Public Theater's Anspacher Theater Sept. 2, and a commercial future may be ahead.
Don Cheadle and Tony Award-winner Jeffrey Wright star in the darkly comic incendiary drama about brothers named Booth and Lincoln. The viability of a Broadway run for the play has been examined in recent weeks, with the idea that the work might be seen at The Booth Theatre — named after Edwin Booth, not the John Wilkes referenced in the play. A spokesperson told Playbill On-Line Aug. 30 that a commercial future is still being explored.
Previews began July 10 for an opening on July 26. The work was originally scheduled for March, but pushed back to July, apparently to accommodate Cheadle's schedule. Cheadle's film credits include "Out of Sight" and "Traffic." He appeared in The Public Theater's 1989 production of Cymbeline.
Topdog is billed as a "darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity," a tale of two brothers, one named Lincoln, one named Booth. Their names "foretell a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment." Parks' In the Blood (a Pulitzer Prize finalist) played the Public in 1999-2000, and her Fucking A will play at the theatre in winter 2002.
Topdog is Wolfe's first directing assignment since 1999-2000's The Wild Party. Wolfe is The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater's producer.
Topdog/Underdog designers are Riccardo Hernandez (scenic), Emilio Sosa (costumes), Scott Zielinski (lighting) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound).