By Murdoch McBride
09 Feb 2000
Final casting has been announced for Julie Taymor's Green Bird, which begins rehearsals Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. Previews for the show begin April 1 at the Cort Theatre. The show opens April 18. Phone sales for Green Bird tickets begin Feb. 14 , with a Playbill On-Line Club special offer starting the weekend of Feb. 12.
Included in the cast are original cast members Didi Conn, Ned Eisenberg and Sebastian Roché. Previously announced cast members include Reg E. Cathy, Edward Hibbert, Katie MacNichol, Kristine Nielsen, Sophia Salguero, Derek Smith, Bruce Turk, Erico Villanueva and Andrew Weems.
Tony Award winner Julie Taymor's first Broadway show since Disney's The Lion King, Green Bird will feature music by Taymor's long time partner and collaborator, composer Elliot Goldenthal.
Production sources described the story -- about a king who longs for his lost wife, and brother-and-sister twins searching for their true identities -- as a "wicked comedy of outrageous characters in which fantasy and the truest love meet in a place unlike any ever seen." Taymor has said Green Bird is thoroughly entertaining with a "wonderful grotesquery and poetry to it -- an edgy bawdiness."
This is Taymor's second New York production of Green Bird. Her first debuted to critical acclaim at Off-Broadway's New Victory Theatre in spring 1996. That Theatre for a New Audience production played just 15 performances and garnered Derek Smith an Obie award for acting. Following the New Victory Theatre's limited engagement, Green Bird ran successfully at the La Jolla Playhouse. (Featured in the recent 1996 production of Green Bird were Trellis Stepter, Priscilla Shanks, Lee Lewis, Weems, Conn, Eisenberg, Myriam Cyr, Roche, Turk, Nielsen, and Villanueva.)
Translated by Albert Bermel & Ted Emery, the Broadway production of Green Bird will begin previews April 1 at the Cort Theatre. The show opens April 18. Producers for the show are Ostar Enterprises and Theatre for a New Audience, where Jeffrey Horowitz is the artistic director, as well as Nina Lannan.
Green Bird is performed with puppets and half masks, and was written by Italian playwright Gozzi in the 18th century.
The production team for Green Bird comprises scenic designer Christine Jones, costume designer Constance Hoffman and Tony Award winning lighting designer Donald Holder (The Lion King). Taymor will design the masks as well as the puppets.
Taymor's breakthrough collaboration with Elliot Goldenthal,Juan Darien, was produced Off-Broadway in 1988. That production won both Taymor and Goldenthal Obie Awards. The show also ran at Lincoln Center Theater in 1996 and was nominated for five Tony Awards.
Tickets run $45 - $75. Green Bird will run at Broadway's Cort Theatre, located at 138 West 48th Street. For information and tickets call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com beginning Feb. 14; or by visiting the Cort Theatre box office after March 6.