Broadway is poised to be saying "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson," as the stage version of Mike Nichols' classic 1967 film comedy strives to reach Broadway this spring. Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone are confirmed to play Mrs. Robinson and her daughter, Elaine, in the Broadway mounting.
Syndicated newspaper columnist Cindy Adams quoted Turner Sept. 7 as saying, "We start rehearsals in December, open March, and I'm in at least through next Labor Day," but the Barlow-Hartman press office can confirm only the springtime launch.
Still no word on who will play Benjamin, the role that launched Dustin Hoffman into film stardom. Prior to the ramping of of The Graduate for Broadway, actress Turner had been promised last season in a solo turn, Tallulah. The "Romancing the Stone," "Body Heat" and Indiscretions actress played the elegant, heavy-lidded Tallulah Bankhead in the show, which premiered in Chichester in 1997 and enjoyed a run at FL's Coconut Grove Theatre in 1999. Silverstone is best known for the film "Clueless" and for being a "Batman" Batgirl.
The Graduate is written by Terry Johnson, adapted from the original novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. The piece tells of a naive college graduate facing a hollow middle-class future (possibly "in plastics"). His secret dalliance with Mrs. Robinson, an older woman who seduces him, broadens his perspective but also, understandably, jeopardizes his relationship with her daughter.
Author Johnson also directs the London mounting, with sets by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Mike Walker. The Graduate is produced in the West End (and on Broadway) by John Reid and Sacha Brooks. The show opened at the Gielgud April 5, 2000. Turner originated the Mrs. Robinson role in April 2000 and caused a sensation by dropping a towel and appearing naked, albeit briefly and in dim lighting. After Turner came Jerry Hall, Amanda Donohoe, Anne Archer and, currently, Linda Grey. The part was first made famous by Anne Bancroft.