When we last we heard from Eli Wallach, he'd finished up an acclaimed engagement in Off-Broadway's Visiting Mr. Green and was about to embark on a Broadway production of The Visitor. That mounting fell through, as did a reported London staging of Eric-Emanuel Schmitt's drama.
You can't keep a talented octogenarian down, though; or his equally talented wife. Wallach and Anne Jackson, who've appeared in dozens of plays together, will return to Off-Broadway for five weeks in May-June, starring in Tennessee Williams Remembered, featuring their own reminiscences of the playwright and scenes from the late dramatist's works. Wallach won a Tony for his work in the original production of The Rose Tattoo, and he also appeared in Camino Real and the Williams-scripted film, "Baby Doll."
According to a production spokesperson at the Jeffrey Richards press office, the show was supposed to open May 16, but that's been pushed back a week, to May 23. The first preview date has not changed however: May 12. The spokesperson said the show would still do a five-week engagement of 35 performances, making the closing date June 13.
After a five-year stand in the Army Medical Administrative Corp during World War II, Wallach made his stage debut -- and met Jackson -- in an Off-Broadway production of Williams's This Property Is Condemned. Wallach later appeared on Broadway with his wife in The Typist & The Tiger, Major Barbara, Rhinoceros, LUV, Waltz of the Toreadors, Twice Around the Park and Cafe Crown. They also appeared together in the Off-Broadway productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, Twice Around The Park, The Nest of the Woodgrouse and Cafe Crown. Jackson received a Tony nomination for her work in Williams' Summer and Smoke.
Gene Saks (Enter Laughing, Barrymore) directs the new show, which runs in repertory with Jodie's Body. Produced by Julian Schlossberg, Mark S. Golub, Mary Gilbert and Meyer Ackerman, Tennessee Williams Remembered will run only 35 performances, May 12-June 13. For tickets and information call (212) 307-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz