Man and Boy, With Frank Langella as Corrupt Magnate, Ends Limited Broadway Run Nov. 27
By Kenneth Jones
Three-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella wraps up his run as corrupt international financier Gregor Antonescu in Man and Boy Nov. 27 at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre. Terence Rattigan's 1963 character study opened Oct. 9 as a limited engagement by Roundabout Theatre Company. The "boy" at hand is Gregor's estranged son, played by Adam Driver.
Previews began Sept. 9. By close, it will have played 92 performances. Maria Aitken (The 39 Steps) directs. Langella got an embrace from critics for his juicy turn as a poisonous capitalist who would sell his son if he could.
Set during the Depression, the play is billed this way by Roundabout: Langella plays ruthless financier Gregor Antonescu, whose business "is dangerously close to crumbling. In order to escape the wolves at his door, Gregor tracks down his estranged son Basil [played by Adam Driver, late of Roundabout's Mrs. Warren's Profession] in the hopes of using his Greenwich Village apartment as a base to make a company-saving deal. Can this reunion help them reconcile? Or will this corrupt father use his only son as a pawn in one last power play? Man and Boy is a gripping story about family, success and what we're willing to sacrifice for both."
The production is part of the centennial celebration of English playwright Rattigan (1911-77). The play made its Broadway debut in 1963. Rattigan's plays include French Without Tears, The Deep Blue Sea, Separate Tables, The Winslow Boy and Cause Celebe, among others. Visit terencerattigan.com.
Langella and Driver are joined by Francesca Faridany as Gregor's wife, Countess Antonescu, who signs blank checks to fund her husband's schemes; Tony nominee Zach Grenier as businessman and possible merger partner Mark Herries; Brian Hutchison as accountant David Beeston, who discovers accounting irregularities; Virginia Kull as Basil's actress girlfriend, Carol Penn; and Michael Siberry as Sven Johnson, Gregor's secret-keeper and right-hand man.
Langella told Playbill magazine, in a September issue feature, "It's a fascinating play — and very modern, even if it is set in 1934. Rattigan was referencing Ivar Kreuger, a European Ponzi-scheme artist who killed himself, and that dictated the period, but the obvious ties to Madoff and his son's suicide are there. Fifty years after it was written, people have no problem buying it. Just look at the headlines. There's very little now in human interaction that shocks us — from the murder cases with young children to the homosexual secrets of our politicians."
The creative team includes Derek McLane (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), Kevin Adams (lights), Paul Huntley (hair and wigs) and John Gromada (original music and sound design). Production stage manager is Nevin Headley. Stage manager is Bryce McDonald.
Langella's memoir "Dropped Names" will be released by HarperCollins in 2012. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Richard Nixon in Ron Howard's film "Frost/Nixon" and has subsequently appeared in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," "All Good Things" and "The Box." Langella returns to Broadway and Roundabout Theatre Company following his 2008 performance as Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. Previous Roundabout credits also include The Father (1996) and Cyrano De Bergerac (1997).
Driver appeared in Roundabout's Mrs. Warren's Profession last fall; Grenier was featured in Roundabout's A Man for All Seasons, also with Frank Langella; and Michael Siberry was in Roundabout's recent production of Death Takes a Holiday.
For tickets and information, call Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines box office (227 West 42nd Street). Ticket prices range from $67-$117.
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