PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, July 20-25: Killer Joe Finds A Time to Kill, Betrayal Shows Box-Office Potential and Hugh Jackman May Dazzle as Houdini

By Robert Simonson
26 Jul 2013

Pam MacKinnon
Pam MacKinnon
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Now that Tracy Letts is a multiple Tony Award winner — for both playwriting and acting — perhaps we've entered a time where his early works are being dusted off and brought back in high fashion.

Director Pam MacKinnon (who directed Letts to a Tony in the recent Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) will pilot the Broadway premiere of Lett's breakout play, the creepy 1993 thriller Killer Joe, which will arrive on Broadway in 2014, producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel announced July 25.

Killer Joe had its premiere at the Chicago-area NEXT Theatre in 1993 where it played an eight-month run and later transferred to a healthy star-strewn run Off-Broadway. It was later adapted by Letts into a 2012 film. The sordid story, not one for the weak of heart, concerns a collection of trailer trash who concoct a plot to get out of drug-dealer debt by rubbing out a close relation and hire the eponymous contract killer to get the job done. Anyone who saw the Off-Broadway production has never thought about fried chicken the same way again.

Given that the Off-Broadway staging attracted the likes of Amanda Plummer and Scott Glenn, it can be assumed that the Broadway bow will attract ever bigger guns, star-wise.



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Producers announced additional casting for Broadway's first-ever John Grisham play, the Rupert Holmes stage adaptation of A Time to Kill,, which will begin previews Sept. 28 at the John Golden Theatre.

It's a nice group. The ensemble includes Patrick Page, Tonya Pinkins, Chike Johnson, Ashley Williams, Dashiell Eaves, J.R. Horne, John Procaccino, Tijuana Ricks and Lee Sellars. They join the previously announced Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson and John Douglas Thompson.

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Here's a nice problem for a producer to have. The upcoming Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal is selling too many tickets — too fast!! What's a showman to do?

Online and telephone ticket sales for Betrayal — which stars box office bait, the big screen's James Bond Daniel Craig and his real-life wife, Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz — have been open since July 12. Traffic has been so strong that the limited 14-week engagement could be sold out before the originally scheduled box office opening date of Sept. 3.

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