PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Feb. 2-8: Gloria Estefan, Pippin, The Glass Menagerie

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08 Feb 2013

Matthew James Thomas
Matthew James Thomas
Michael J. Lutch

Daniel Craig — a rainmaker in A Steady Rain a couple seasons back — will head back to Broadway, accompanied by Rachel Weisz, in a new Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's time-bending drama Betrayal, according to a report out of London. Mike Nichols, who just can't quit Broadway, will direct.

Weisz will portray Emma, who is having an affair with her husband's best friend. Craig would portray Robert, her husband. The third member of the cast has not been named.

Pinter's 1978 drama famously travels in reverse dramatic order as it explores a hidden love affair. Regarded as Pinter's most commercially accessible play, it has also attracted top talent. It premiered on Broadway in 1979 with Blythe Danner, Raul Julia and Roy Schneider. A 2000 revival featured Juliette Binoche, Liev Schreiber and John Slattery.

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The producers bringing in the new Broadway revival — first Broadway revival — of the whimsically soul-searching musical Pippin, have decided to keep its American Repertory Theater production cast intact.

Spider-Man cast member Matthew James Thomas takes on the title role in a troupe (when you're dealing with Pippin, it seems natural to call the cast a "troupe") that also features Patina Miller as the Leading Player, Terrence Mann as King Charles, Charlotte d'Amboise as Fastrada, Erik Altemus as Lewis, Andrew Cekala as Theo and Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine. The closest the show has to a conventional star is Tony winner Andrea Martin, in the usually show-stopping role of wise grandma Berthe.

Diane Paulus, the pilot behind recent revivals of Hair and Porgy and Bess, will try to strike gold again with this latest musical archaeology project. The production incorporates circus choreography and acrobatics by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers). It will officially open on Broadway April 25.

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The Nederlander Organization and Estefan Enterprises announced this week that they will develop and produce a new Broadway musical. If you recognize that second name as one that was attached to many a hit single during the 1980s, then you can decipher what the musical backbone of this show will be: the songbook of "Queen of Latin Pop" Gloria Estefan and her husband, musician-producer Emilio Estefan.

The musical will feature not only the Estefans' music, but also their "life story." "Our cultural roots, our life-defining challenges and the rewards that come with believing in yourself and striving for that which you believe in wholeheartedly, will be the foundation for this theatrical production," said the Estefans. One guesses the tale will address the couple's origins in Cuba, and the 1990 bus accident that almost cost Gloria her life.

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When great American stage actresses are young, they want to play Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. When they get a bit older, they itch to try on Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. And when they reach a certain more advanced age, it's time for Amanda in The Glass Menagerie.

Cherry Jones, one of the American stage's most formidable and consistent talents, is currently taking on the latter assignment. Once director John Tiffany guides her in a new production of the Tennessee Williams classic at the American Repertory Theater. The cast also features Zachary Quinto as narrator son Tom, Celia Keenan-Bolger as sister Laura and Brian J. Smith as the Gentleman Caller.



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