By David Lefkowitz
31 Aug 2001
More than a year ago, Michael Frayn's three-character drama, Copenhagen, won the 2000 Tony Award for Best Play. At the time, Producers James M. Nederlander, Roger Berlind, Scott Nederlander, Ray Larsen, Jon B. Platt and Elizabeth Ireland McCann promised a national tour of the play, which also picked up Tonys for Best Director (Michael Blakemore) and featured actress (Blair Brown).
Plans have finally been worked out, and the show's national tour will start in November of this year, with Len Cariou (just finishing up The Dinner Party), Mariette Hartley and Hank Stratton starring. Blakemore will again direct, with stops to begin in Los Angeles and move to San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston, according to spokesperson Molly Haydon.
Copenhagen closed on Broadway Jan. 21 of this year, after 21 previews and 326 regular performances.
Copenhagen's original cast consisted of Philip Bosco, Michael Cumpsty (now in 42nd Street) and Blair Brown. Bosco and Cumpsty remained with the show up until the final performance. With only three actors and a minimal set design, the play recouped its investment costs in July. Copenhagen is also one of the rare non-musical shows to be honored with an original cast recording — released Nov. 13, 2000 by the Fynsworth Alley label.
The drama concerns a real-life 1941 meeting between two world-famous physicists, one Danish and one German, and imagines the nature and ramifications of the conversation-cum-confrontation that took place. The play has also won the Drama League and Drama Desk Awards for best play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play.
Author Frayn will see his biggest hit, Noises Off, revived on Broadway this fall. Best known for her television work, actress Hartley appeared in A.R. Gurney's latest, Buffalo Gal, at Williamstown this summer. Last year she played Irina Arkadina in an Old Globe mounting of The Seagull. Actor Cariou (Applause, Dance a Little Closer) won a Tony for playing the vengeful barber in Sweeney Todd. Stratten, who plays proud physicist Werner Heisenberg, should be right at home in the German wartime milieu; he comes from the national tour of Cabaret.
Designing the show are Peter J. Davison (set and costumes), Mark Henderson (lighting) and Tony Meola (sound).