By Robert Simonson
19 Mar 1999
David Leveaux's staging of Sophocles' Electra, starring Zoe Wanamaker, will finish its praised four-month run on Broadway March 21. The Greek drama officially opened Dec. 3, 1998 after starting its run at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre Nov. 19, 1998. At close, it will have played 14 previews and 115 performances.
Electra will not disappear after shuttering on Broadway, however. A year from now, in April 2000, the Frank McGuinness translation will be resurrected at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Kennedy Center spokesman Paul Bilyea told Playbill On-Line that David Leveaux -- who staged the work on Broadway and, before that, at Princeton, NJ's McCarter Theatre -- will remount Electra in D.C. Zoe Wanamaker is also expected to repeat her performance, though the cast surrounding her may be new.
One of the few unadulterated hits of the Broadway season and certainly its most unlikely, Electra began it U.S. journey at the McCarter Theatre last fall. The cast, there and on Broadway, included Wanamaker in the title role, Claire Bloom (Clytemnestra), Pat Carroll (Chorus Leader), Michael Cumpsty (Orestes), Marin Hinkle (Chrysothemis), Daniel Oreskes (Aegisthus) and Stephen Spinella (Servant to Orestes).
The play marked director Leveaux's first American outing since directing Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Anna Christie.
Electra gave its last performances at Princeton's McCarter Theatre Oct. 4. Soon after the tragedy opened to rave reviews, producers began to discuss a commercial transfer to New York. In the end, the New York move was backed by producers Eric Krebs, Randall L. Wreghitt, Anita Waxman and Elizabeth Peck Williams.
The Wanamaker Electra , adapted by Someone Who'll Watch Over Me playwright Frank McGuinness, originated in London. Wanamaker's credits include stints at the RSC, the Mark Taper Forum (CA) and the National Theatre.
For tickets and information call (212) 239-6200.