By Kenneth Jones
30 Jun 2009
|Photo by Craig Schwartz|
Oleanna — directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) — will open Oct. 11 at the intimate house that Avenue Q has occupied since 2003.
Producer Jeffrey Finn is behind the Broadway production of the provocative drama by Pulitzer Prize winner Mamet. The world premiere of Mamet's Race will also play Broadway this fall.
The "gripping account of a power struggle between a male university professor and one of his female students" is currently being presented by Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum in L.A. by special arrangement with Jeffrey Finn. The run ends July 12. It received solid reviews. It opened June 5 after previews from May 28.
Tickets for the Broadway run will go on sale July 19 and will be available for purchase at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.
The Broadway production will feature the L.A. creative team, including scenic designer Neil Patel, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Donald Holder and fight director Rick Sordelet. Production stage manager is Charles Means.
According to production notes, "Written in the heyday of political correctness and the culture wars of the early 1990s, Oleanna made an instantly incendiary debut — dividing audiences at every performance into two camps, compelled to attack or defend either character. Critics weighing in on this new production confirm that the play hasn't lost any of its bite, power or relevance, noting the intense post-show conversations that continue to erupt nightly."
Pullman (who plays John) returns to the Broadway stage for the first time since he received a 2002 Drama Desk Award nomination starring opposite Mercedes Ruehl in Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? His other recent stage work includes a second Drama Desk nomination for his appearance in Albee's Peter and Jerry in 2007 at Second Stage and the 2006 Kennedy Center production of The Subject Was Roses (Helen Hayes Award nomination). His films include "Independence Day," "Lost Highway," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Ruthless People," "While You Were Sleeping" and more.
Stiles (who plays Carol) earned acclaim for her performance in a previous production of Oleanna in London's West End in 2004. Her additional stage credits include the 2002 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night as Viola, James Lapine's Fran's Bed at Playwrights Horizons and The Vagina Monologues. Oleanna will mark her Broadway debut. She made her cinematic debut at age 15 in "I Love You, I Love You Not" with Claire Danes. Her movies include "10 Things I Hate About You"; "Save the Last Dance"; "Mona Lisa Smiles"; two David Mamet films, "State and Main" and "Edmond"; and the three Bourne movies, "The Bourne Identity," "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum."
Mamet is the award-winning author of many plays including Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award, 2005 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), American Buffalo, Boston Marriage, November, Speed-the-Plow and The Cryptogram.
Mamet has written the screenplays for such films as "The Verdict," "The Untouchables," "Wag the Dog" and his own adaptation of "Oleanna." He has twice been nominated for an Academy Award. He has written and directed ten films including "Homicide," "The Spanish Prisoner," "State and Main," "House of Games," "Spartan" and "Redbelt."
He is co-creator and executive producer of the CBS hit series "The Unit," and is a founding member of The Atlantic Theatre Company.
This fall, director Doug Hughes will also direct a Broadway revival of The Royal Family for Manhattan Theatre Club.
Following a world premiere in May 1992 as the first production of David Mamet's Back Bay Theater Company in Cambridge, MA and starring William H. Macy and Rebecca Pidgeon, Oleanna had its New York premiere Off-Broadway at The Orpheum Theatre on Oct. 23, 1992. Directed by Mamet and again starring Macy and Pidgeon, the hit production ran 513 performances, eventually featuring Treat Williams as John.