Change of Venue: Twelve Angry Men in Talks for Commercial Broadway Transfer
By Ernio Hernandez
The Roundabout Theatre Company's seven-time extended staging of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men may be holding court at a new Broadway house, Playbill.com has learned.
The company recently announced the Ellis staging will close May 15 at the American Airlines Theatre to make way for a revival of The Constant Wife starring Kate Burton and also embark on a national tour slated for a 2006-2007 season start.
Sources now have the Roundabout work moving to the now-vacant Al Hirschfeld Theatre — which was, until recently, scheduled to house the canceled revival of Sweet Charity with either Christina Applegate or replacement Charlotte d'Amboise starring.
A Roundabout spokesperson confirmed to Playbill.com that the non-profit is in discussions for a commercial transfer of Twelve Angry Men, one of its most popular stagings to date. No information, however, was confirmed on a theatre.
Set in a jury room,Twelve Angry Men tells the story of a murder trial in which a youth is alleged to have killed his father. The case seems like an open-and-shut situation as eleven of the unnamed jurors believe the defendant to be guilty. Juror #8, however, is not so certain, stirring up the room and setting off a number of arguments.
The anonymous deciding dozen are currently Mark Blum, Kevin Geer, Robert Foxworth, James Rebhorn, Michael Mastro, Robert Clohessy, John Pankow, Boyd Gaines, Tom Aldredge, Peter Friedman, Byron Jennings and Adam Trese. Matte Osian plays a guard.
Twelve Angry Men has proven the most popular Roundabout staging at its current home, the American Airlines Theatre, since the company's reopening of the venue in 2000. The Rose drama will have outrun the longest running production in the space by more than two times: the 2001 revival of Clare Boothe Luce's The Women — starring Kristen Johnston, Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Tilly played 13 weeks. By May 15, Twelve Angry Men will have played 32 weeks. (The former Selwyn Theatre was home to the long-running Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman 1927 comedy The Royal Family which played 345 performances.)
The forthcoming tour — to be presented in association with Clear Channel Entertainment — will feature the same design team as the Broadway production and will be cast from auditions to be held in the fall. Washington D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the only stop announced thus far.
Tickets to Twelve Angry Men at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42 Street are available by calling (212) 719-1300. For more information, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
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