Add Uma Thurman to the list of film actresses who want a piece of the New York stage. Academy Award nominee Thurman ("The Avengers," "Dangerous Liaisons," "Batman & Robin," "Pulp Fiction") and Roger Rees (Nicholas Nickleby, The Uneasy Chair) star in Martin Crimp's updated adaptation of Moliere's The Misanthrope, presented by Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company, beginning previews Jan. 28.
The opening is set for Feb. 14 (with a Feb. 28 close) at the CSC's home at 136 East 13th St. in Manhattan. CSC artistic director Barry Edelstein directs.
Crimp penned the acclaimed Theatre de Complicite's recent revival of Ionesco's The Chairs, which played London and was Tony Award nominated on Broadway. His Moliere adaptation (in verse) sets the tale in contemporary London, where American film actress Jennifer (Thurman) meets brilliant, snarky playwright Alceste (Rees).
Production notes indicate the goal is "satirizing our sound-bite paced, media obsessed culture with the same lacerating energy that Moliere himself aimed at the narcissistic and intrigue-laden world of Louis XIV's court."
Also in the cast are Michael Emerson (Gross Indecency), Seth Gilliam (A Question of Mercy), Brian Keane, Adina Porter (Venus), Mary Lou Rosato (Once Upon a Mattress), John Gould Rubin (The Predator's Ball) and Nicholas Wyman (Les Miserables). Among film actresses who have appeared on the New York stage in the past year are Natasha Richardson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicole Kidman and Holly Hunter. On the male side, Tony Shalhoub, John Turturro and Christopher Lloyd recently starred in CSC's Waiting For Godot.
Designers for The Misanthrope are Narelle Sissons (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), Stephen Strawbridge (lighting), Darron L. West (sound). Original music is by contemporary classical composer Michael Torke.
Tickets went onsale Jan. 8, 1999. Call (212) 239-6200.