PHOTO CALL: Diane Lane and Finn Wittrock Star in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Goodman
By Krissie Fullerton
28 Sep 2012
David Cromer's new production of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth, starring Diane Lane and Finn Wittrock, opened Sept. 24 following previews from Sept. 14 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Cromer's 17-member Goodman Theatre cast includes Academy Award nominee Lane ("Unfaithful") plays Alexandra del Lago with Finn Whittrock opposite as her unlikely soulmate, Chance Wayne, John Byrnes as Dan Hatcher; Sean Cooper as the Heckler; Maggie Corbett as Edna; Jennifer Engstrom as Miss Lucy; Peter Fitzsimmons as Scotty; Kristina Johnson as Heavenly Finley; John Judd as Boss Finley; Colm O'Reilly as George Scudder; Tyler Ravelson as Stuff; Penny Slusher as Aunt Nonnie; D'Wayne Taylor as Charles; Vincent Teninty as Tom Jr.; Dan Waller as Bud; R. Charles Wilkerson as Fly; and Kara Zediker as Violet.
Here's how Goodman characterizes the torrid play, which had a Broadway bow in 1959 starring Geraldine Page and Paul Newman: "Sweet Bird of Youth opens in the Gulf Coast hotel suite of Princess Kosmonopolis (Lane), an aging Hollywood starlet, and Chance Wayne (Wittrock), an actor-turned-gigolo pushing 30. Chance has just brought the Princess to his hometown after the disastrous premiere of her latest film, and hopes to use her fame and connections to win back his former love, Heavenly (Johnson), whose powerful father Boss Finley (Judd) drove him out of town years earlier. But when a mistake from his past resurfaces, Chance's plan quickly unravels and the pair are forced to confront their crumbling dreams."
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.