Assuming Art is still running, playwright Yasmina Reza will have two plays playing in New York come fall 1999. However, the new work, The Unexpected Man , will not be on Broadway, as producer Elizabeth McCann originally planned. McCann told Playbill On-Line (Dec. 9) that Man will take up residence in the Promenade Theatre, beginning performances sometime in mid-September.
The staging will feature one of the London production's original stars, Eileen Atkins. It will mark Atkins first U.S. turn since her Tony-nominated performance in Indiscretions . Atkins appeared in the London Man opposite Michael Gambon. Who will play the man in the two person play and the project's director have not been determined, though McCann said she is not pursuing Gambon.
As with Art , the London production of The Unexpected Man was directed by Matthew Warchus, translated from the French by Christopher Hampton, and designed by Mark Thompson. The 80-minute, one-act work is about a famous author and a lifelong fan who meet on a train bound from Paris to Frankfurt.
Reza, who is French, won the 1998 Tony for best play for the Broadway hit Art , which is currently playing at the Royale Theatre.
Atkins' other New York credits include A Room's of One's Own and Vita and Virginia . In both, she played novelist Virginia Woolf. Atkins is current filming a movie version of "David Copperfield" in Ireland, said McCann. The Promenade's current tenant, the comedy Power Plays , will wrap up its run on Jan. 10, 1999. It remains unclear who will take the theatre in the interim between Plays ' departure and Man 's arrival.
-- By Robert Simonson