BROADWAY FALL PREVIEW: David Mamet (Twice), Edward Albee, Annie, Jessica Chastain, Cyrano, Patti LuPone

By Robert Simonson
03 Sep 2012

Amy Morton and Tracy Letts
Photo by Michael Brosilow

Albee could have easily netted himself a couple of big names to enact this latest revival of his signature work, Virginia Woolf. Instead, he opted to OK, intact, the recent Steppenwolf Theatre Company revival of the play, directed by Pam MacKinnon, and starring Chicago actress Amy Morton and actor/playwright Tracy Letts as the warring Martha and George. Morton appeared to acclaim in Letts' play August: Osage County a few seasons back. Carrie Coon and Madison Dirks complete the cast. First preview at the Booth is Sept. 27. The Broadway revival opens exactly 50 years after its Broadway debut. Happy anniversary, George and Martha!

By definition, a production of Cyrano needs a swashbuckling, spotlight-eating central player. (The last Broadway outing was a Kevin Kline vehicle.) For the job, the Roundabout Theatre Company has reeled in noted English showboat Douglas Hodge. American audiences know Hodge mainly from his attention-getting, Tony-winning turn as flamboyant Albin in La Cage aux Folles. Jamie Lloyd, former associate artistic director of Donmar Warehouse, directs. The American Airlines engagement begins on Sept. 14.

The last Broadway production of the Henry James-inspired drama The Heiress made a star out of Cherry Jones. (Well, a Broadway star, anyway. She was already a big name Off-Broadway.) The busy film actress Jessica Chastain ("The Tree of Life," "The Help") doesn't need a turn as the unhappily single Catherine Sloper to make her name, but director Moises Kaufman has lured her nonetheless. To give the story of Olde New York a proper drawing room flavor, Dan Stevens, the hero of TV's "Downton Abbey," will play suitor Morris Townsend. David Strathairn and Judith Ivey complete the cast. Previews begin Oct. 7 at the Walter Kerr.

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