From Romeo and Juliet to Of Mice and Men, A Look at the 2013-14 Season: The Play Revivals
By Playbill Staff
April 18, 2014
With the 2013-14 Broadway season coming to a close this month (April 24 is the cut-off date for eligibility for the 68th Annual Tony Awards), Playbill.com offers a four-part look at the current season. Here are this season's play revivals.
From the interracial production of Romeo and Juliet, starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, to John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, marking the Main Stem debuts of James Franco and Chris O'Dowd, here is an overview of the 10 play revivals that have opened in time for the 2013 Tonys, which will take place June 8 at Radio City Music Hall.
Show: Romeo and Juliet Theatre: Richard Rodgers Theatre Preview: Aug. 24, 2013 Opening: Sept. 19, 2013 Closing: Dec. 8, 2013 Creators: Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by David Leveaux. Original Principal Cast: Orlando Bloom as Romeo, Condola Rashad as Juliet, Brent Carver as Friar Laurence, Jayne Houdyshell as Nurse, Chuck Cooper as Lord Capulet, Christian Camargo as Mercutio, Justin Guarini as Paris, Roslyn Ruff as Lady Capulet, Conrad Kemp as Benvolio, Corey Hawkins as Tybalt and Geoffrey Owens as Prince Escalus. Synopsis: According to producers, "In this new production, the members of the Montague household will be white, and the blood relatives of the Capulet family will be black. While race defines the family lineages, the original cause of the ‘ancient quarrel’, passed down by successive generations to their young, has been lost to time. Shakespeare’s dramatization of the original poem sets the two young lovers in a context of prejudice, authoritarian parents, and a never ending cycle of ‘revenge.’ Against this background, the strength of their love changes the world."
Playbill Video's highlights from Romeo and Juliet:
Show: The Glass Menagerie Theatre: Booth Theatre Preview: Sept. 5, 2013 Opening: Sept. 26, 2013 Closing: Feb. 23 Creators: Written by Tennessee Williams. Directed by John Tiffany. Movement by Steven Hoggett. Original Principal Cast: Cherry Jones as Amanda, Zachary Quinto as Tom, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Laura and Brian J. Smith as The Gentleman Caller. Synopsis: According to producers, "Amanda Wingfield (Jones) is a southern belle past her prime, living with two grown children in a small apartment in St. Louis. Amanda dreams of a better life for her shy and crippled daughter Laura (Keenan-Bolger), and so she pushes her son Tom (Quinto) to find a 'gentleman caller' for the girl. However, the arrival of the gentleman caller (Smith) sends shockwaves through the family, and causes cracks to form in the delicate fantasies that have kept them going. A beautiful play full of poetry and longing, The Glass Menagerie makes its triumphant return to Broadway in an exquisite and groundbreaking new production."
Show: The Winslow Boy Theatre: American Airlines Theatre Preview: Sept. 20, 2013 Opening: Oct. 17, 2013 Closing: Dec. 1, 2013 Creators: Written by Terrance Rattigan. Directed by Lindsay Posner. Original Principal Cast: Michael Cumpsty as Desmond Curry, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Grace Winslow, Alessandro Nivola as Sir Robert Morton, Roger Rees as Arthur Winslow, Zachary Booth as Dickie Winslow, Spencer Davis Milford as Ronnie Winslow, Charlotte Parry as Catherine Winslow and Chandler Williams as John Watherstone. Synopsis: Here's how it's billed: "A moving exploration of family devotion, The Winslow Boy beautifully illustrates the costs of unconditional love and the rewards that make the effort priceless. When Ronnie Winslow is expelled from school for stealing, it has a resounding effect on the entire family. His father Arthur must pool his resources to hire a lawyer for the boy’s defense. His brother Dickie begrudgingly drops out of college and gets a banking job to help with the legal costs. And the fallout from this unexpected predicament puts his sister Catherine's engagement in jeopardy. Though they are determined to defend Ronnie, will the family’s sacrifices be enough to clear his reputation and the Winslow name?"
Show: Betrayal Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre Preview: Oct. 1, 2013 Opening: Oct. 27, 2013 Closing: Jan. 5 Creators: Written by Harold Pinter. Directed by Nick Nichols. Original Principal Cast: Daniel Craig as Robert, Rachel Weisz as Emma and Rafe Spall as Jerry. Synopsis: According to producers, "Emma (Weisz) is married to Robert (Craig), a publisher, but she has long had an affair with Jerry (Spall), a literary agent and Robert's best friend; as, in a brilliant device, time is regained, so the full complexity of their relationships comes to light."
Show: Twelfth Night/Richard III Theatre: Belasco Theatre Preview: Oct. 15, 2013 Opening: Nov. 10, 2013 Closing: Feb. 16 Creators: Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tim Carroll. Original Principal Cast: Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, Samuel Barnett, Liam Brennan, Paul Chahidi, John Paul Connolly, Peter Hamilton Dyer, Colin Hurley, Jethro Skinner, Angus Wright, Terry McGinity, Kurt Egyiawan, Matt Harrington, Matthew Schechter, Hayden Signoretti, Joseph Timms, Dominic Brewer, Dylan Clark Marshall and Tony Ward. Synopsis: "Richard Duke of Gloucester (Mark Rylance) is determined that he should wear the crown of England," press notes state about Richard III. "He has already dispatched one king and that king’s son; now all that stands in his way are two credulous brothers and two helpless nephews — the Princes in the Tower. And woe betide those – the women he wrongs, the henchmen he betrays — who dare to raise a voice against him. Monstrous, but theatrically electric, Richard is Shakespeare’s most charismatic, self-delighting villain, reveling at every moment in his homicidal, hypocritical journey to absolute power."
Here's how Twelfth Night is billed: "While the lovelorn Duke Orsino plots to win the heart of the mourning Olivia, an alliance of servants and hangers-on scheme against the high handedness of Olivia’s steward, the pompous Malvolio. When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola, who has disguised herself as a young man under the name Cesario, to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bittersweet and hilarious chain of events follows."
Show: Macbeth Theatre: Vivian Beaumont Theater Preview: Oct. 25, 2013 Opening: Nov. 21, 2013 Closing: Jan. 12 Creators: Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Jack O'Brien. Original Principal Cast: Ethan Hawke as Macbeth, Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth, Richard Easton as Duncan, Bianca Amato as Lady Macduff, Brian d'Arcy James as Banquo, Jonny Orsini as Malcolm and Daniel Sunjata as Macduff, with Malcolm Gets, John Glover and Byron Jennings as the three Witches. Synopsis: When three witches deliver some surprising prophecies, Macbeth hatches a plan to murder the king and claim the throne for himself. Provoked by his wife and preoccupied with greed, Macbeth begins his tragic descent into madness.
Show: No Man's Land / Waiting for Godot Theatre: Cort Theatre Preview: Oct. 26, 2013 Opening: Nov. 24, 2013 Closing: Mach 30 Creators: No Man's Land written by Harold Pinter. Waiting for Godot written by Samuel Beckett. Direction by Sean Mathias. Original Principal Cast: Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley. Synopsis: In Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, according to press notes, "two elderly writers, having met in a London pub, continue drinking and talking into the night. All might be well, until the return home of two younger men. Their relationships are exposed, with menace and hilarity, in one of Pinter's most entertaining plays."
In Waiting for Godot, "two wanderers wait by a lonely tree, to meet up with Mr. Godot, who they hope will change their lives for the better. Instead, another couple of eccentric travellers arrive, one man on the end of the other's rope. The results are both funny and dangerous."
Show: Machinal Theatre: American Airlines Theatre Preview: Dec. 20, 2013 Opening: Jan. 16 Closing: Mach 2 Creators: Written by Sophie Treadwell. Direction by Lyndsey Turner. Original Principal Cast: Rebecca Hall as Young Woman, Suzanne Bertish as Mother, Morgan Spector as Lover and Michael Cumpsty as Husband. Synopsis: Here's how the play is billed: "Inspired by the infamous 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, Machinal is a gripping drama by American journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell. It's America's Golden Age, a time of happiness, freedom and prosperity – or is it? For the Young Woman (Hall), a stenographer in the industrial, male-dominated world of the 1920s, life is nothing like she hoped it would be. Restless and unfulfilled in a passionless marriage and unwanted motherhood, she finds her only joy in the form of an illicit love affair. But when reality sets in and she must return to her routine existence, she’ll go to any lengths to regain her freedom. A groundbreaking work in the landscape of American theatre, Machinal is a riveting look at the danger that can come from a life unlived."
Show: A Raisin in the Sun Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre Preview: March 8 Opening: April 3 Closing: June 15 Creators: Written by Lorraine Hansberry. Direction by Kenny Leon. Original Principal Cast: Denzel Washington as Walter Lee Younger, LaTanya Richardson Jackson as Lena Younger, Sophie Okonedo as Ruth Younger, Anika Noni Rose as Beneatha Younger, Stephen Tyrone Williams as Joseph Asagai, Jason Dirden as George Murchison, Stephen McKinley Henderson as Bobo, David Cromer as Karl Lindner and Bryce Clyde Jenkins as Travis Younger. Synopsis: Here's how producer Scott Rudin bills the work: "Set on Chicago's South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Washington), his wife Ruth (Okonedo), his sister Beneatha (Rose), his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama (Carroll). When her deceased husband's money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama."
Show: Of Mice and Men Theatre: Longacre Theatre Preview: March 19 Opening: April 16 Closing: July 27 Creators: Written by John Steinbeck. Direction by Anna D. Shapiro. Original Principal Cast: James Franco as George, Chris O'Dowd as Lennie, Leighton Meester as Curley's Wife, Jim Norton as Candy, Ron Cephas Jones as Crooks, Alex Morf as Curley, Joel Marsh Garland and James McMenamin as Whit. Synopsis: Adapted from his own novel, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, according to press notes, is an "essential adventure, an inspirational portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship. Of Mice and Men tells the story of George (James Franco) and Lennie (Chris O'Dowd), an unlikely pair of friends drifting from job to job across the farms and fields of California, holding fast to their dream of one day having an acre of land they can call their own."