By Robert Simonson
11 Mar 2003
Helen Hunt, John Turturro, Brent Spiner and Linda Emond play two couples acting out three versions of the same evening in Yasmina Reza's drama, which will open at Circle in the Square on March 31. The story begins as a couple are putting their son to bed and their dinner guests arrive — 24 hours early! The unexpected evening then splits into a trio of possible outcomes.
Matthew Warchus, who piloted Art, will stage Life. Since Art, Warchus has scored a hit with True West and a miss with the Broadway revival of Follies. Ron Kastner is producing.
Helen Hunt played Viola in a Lincoln Center Theater production of Twelfth Night—her only major New York theatre credit of recent vintage. "Star Trek" vet Spiner starred on Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company's praised production of 1776 several seasons back (opposite Linda Emond, no less). His other theatre credits include Big River and Sunday in the Park with George.
Emond last acted in Homebody/Kabul and Turturro has appeared in such plays as Waiting for Godot and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.
Reza has never lacked for star talent in her works. Art debuted in New York with Victor Garber, Alan Alda and Alfred Molina and proceeded to host a series of boldface casts, as did the original London production. Unexpected Man, meanwhile, starred Eileen Atkins and Alan Bates.
Recently, much ado was made as both the new musical Urban Cowboy and the new play Life x 3 announced the March 27 opening. The double opening, a more common occurrence in the '20s, '30s and '40s, in recent years had been avoided as shows would log in their scheduled openings with League of American Theaters and Producers so that no two shows would share a date. The coveted Thursday night opening became commonplace as it allowed for optimum media coverage the following day.
Both shows stubbornly stood their ground for a while. Finally, producer Ron Kastner stated in a release, "I do not wish to cause complications for either production by splitting critical and media attention which would happen if we opened the same evening. Life x 3 has a very tight schedule, with the commitments of our director and creative team, but luckily we are able to move to Monday night (March 31)."
Tickets for Life are now on sale at Telecharge, (212) 239-6200.