Roundabout Revival of Clifford Odets' The Big Knife Ends Broadway Engagement June 2

By Michael Gioia
and Kenneth Jones
June 2, 2013

The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Clifford Odets' drama of Hollywood secrets, The Big Knife — which stars Bobby Cannavale, C.J. Wilson, Marin Ireland, Chip Zien, Richard Kind, Brenda Wehle, Reg Rogers and more — concludes its Broadway enaggement June 2 at RTC's American Airlines Theatre. 



At the time of closing, The Big Knife will have played 29 preview performances and 56 regular performances.

The production received one 2013 Tony Award nomination; Kind, who took home the 2013 Drama Desk for his performance as Marcus Hoff, is up for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He was also nominated for the 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award. 

Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) directed the rarely revived 1940s play by the author of Golden Boy (a title that enjoyed a praised Broadway production by Lincoln Center Theater earlier this season). In The Big Knife, Cannavale (also seen this season in Glengarry Glen Ross) plays a Hollywood actor whose buried past is being unearthed. The play opened April 16 following previews that began March 22.

Expect "an electrifying new production of Clifford Odets' riveting, bitingly funny tale of keeping your integrity in the face of success," according to Roundabout.

The full company includes Rachel Brosnahan (Broadway debut) as Dixie Evans, Bobby Cannavale as Charlie Castle, Tony Award nominee Marin Ireland (reasons to be pretty) as Marion Castle, Billy Eugene Jones (Passing Strange) as Russell, Richard Kind (TV's "Mad About You," Broadway's The Producers) as Marcus Hoff, C.J. Wilson (All American, Medieval Play) as Hank Teagle, Ana Reeder (Broadway's recent Hedda Gabler, Sight Unseen, Top Girls) as Connie Bliss, Reg Rogers (The Royal Family, A Free Man of Color) as Smiley Coy, Joey Slotnick (of Off-Broadway and Chicago Lookingglass, Steppenwolf and Goodman productions, now making his Broadway debut) as Buddy Bliss, Brenda Wehle (Broadway's Pygmalion and Come Back, Little Sheba, Off-Broadway's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide…) as Patty Benedict and Chip Zien (Into the Woods, Falsettos, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Nat Danziger.

The design team included John Lee Beatty (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), James F. Ingalls (lighting) and David Van Tieghem (sound & original music).

Bobby Cannavale and Ana Reeder
photo by Joan Marcus

Here's how Roundabout bills the work: "In the golden age of Hollywood cinema, actors may have all the glory, but studio execs have all the power. The Hoff-Federated studio has had its most successful star, Charlie Castle, over a barrel ever since it helped cover up a mistake that could have ended his career. When a woman with insider knowledge threatens to come forward, the studio heads will stop at nothing to protect Charlie's secret... but how far is he willing to go before he quits the movie business for good? Set in a glossy world of rumor mills and rocky friendships, Clifford Odets' The Big Knife is about living the life you always wanted but wanting something more."

This marked the first new Broadway production of the play since its Broadway premiere in 1949, when Lee Strasberg directed.

Cannavale is a Tony nominee for his work in Mauritius and The Motherf**ker With the Hat. He recently played Ricky Roma in the Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross. He won an Emmy for his guest appearance on "Will & Grace." His TV credits include "Nurse Jackie" (Emmy nomination) and the most recent season of "Boardwalk Empire." His films include "The Station Agent" and Woody Allen's upcoming picture, among others.

The plays of Odets (1906-1963) include Waiting for Lefty, Awake and Sing!, Paradise Lost, Golden Boy, Rocket to the Moon, Clash by Night, The Country Girl and The Flowering Peach. He penned screenplays for "None but the Lonely Heart," "Humoresque," "The Sweet Smell of Success" and more.

For more information, visit roundabouttheatre.org or call Roundabout Ticket Services (212) 719-1300. Ticket prices range from $42-$127.

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from the production: