Mendes-Directed The Cherry Orchard Opens at BAM Jan. 14

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14 Jan 2009

Ethan Hawke, Simon Russell Beale and Josh Hamilton
Ethan Hawke, Simon Russell Beale and Josh Hamilton
Photo by Joan Marcus
The inaugural production of the Bridge Project — Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, starring Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack, Josh Hamilton and Ethan Hawke — opens at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Jan. 14.

Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes stages the production that began performances Jan. 2 and will continue through March 8 in the Harvey Theatre. The new Tom Stoppard adaptation of the Chekhov classic is the first of two productions that will be presented at BAM as part of the Bridge Project — a collaboration between BAM, The Old Vic and Mendes' Neal Street Productions that unites actors from both sides of the Atlantic.

Following the Chekhov work, the Bridge Project company will inhabit William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, which is set to run Feb. 10-March 8 with an official opening Feb. 20.

The cast of The Cherry Orchard features Simon Russell Beale as Lopakhin, Sinead Cusack as Madame Ranevskaya, Rebecca Hall as Varya, Richard Easton as Firs, Josh Hamilton as Yasha, Ethan Hawke as Trofimov and Paul Jesson as Gaev.

Completing the cast are Aaron Krohn, Dakin Matthews, Michael Braun, Selina Cadell, Morven Christie, Charlotte Parry, Gary Powell, Tobias Segal, Mark Nelson, Hannah Stokely and Jessica Pollert Smith.

Press notes for The Cherry Orchard read: "Charting the precipitous descent of a wealthy family into the throes of ineptitude, this revelatory new production brings fresh life to the Russian master's daring, droll meditation on bourgeois materialism and what remains in its wake."

Designing the Bridge Project works are Anthony Ward (set design), Catherine Zuber (costume design), Paul Pyant (lighting design), Paul Arditti (sound design) and Mark Bennett (music). Shrek choreographer Josh Prince choreographs with musical direction by Dan Lipton.

Following the BAM engagement, the Bridge Project company will play the Singapore Repertory Theatre, Auckland New Zealand's EDGE Performing Arts Centre, Madrid's Teatro Español and Germany's Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, before arriving at The Old Vic in London for a May–August 2009 run.

For tickets and further information phone (718) 636-4100 or visit