Stella! John C. Reilly Stars with Natasha Richardson in New Broadway Streetcar

By Ernio Hernandez
April 26, 2005

Natasha Richardson, John C. Reilly, Amy Ryan and Chris Bauer star as Tennessee Williams' sultry Southern quartet in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, which opens April 26.

Edward Hall directs the work which began previews March 26 at Studio 54 for a limited engagement is currently slated through July 3.

Playwright Williams sets A Streetcar Named Desire in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The story follows the woes of faded Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her road to madness aided by her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Reilly will wail the classic Kowalski line "Stella!" to co-star Ryan, who will play the expecting sister to Richardson's DuBois. Bauer takes on the role of Stanley's friend and possible match for Blanche, Harold "Mitch" Mitchell.

The cast also features Wanda L. Houston (as Negro Woman), Kristine Nielsen (Eunice Hubbell), Scott Sowers (Steve Hubbell), Will Toale (Young Collector) and Teresa Yenque (Mexican Woman).

The role in Streetcar reteams Richardson with the Roundabout, which provided her with her Tony Award-nominated role in the play Anna Christie (1993) and Tony Award-winning role in the musical Cabaret (1998). The actress has also been seen on Broadway in Closer and in such films as "Nell" (opposite husband Liam Neeson), "The Parent Trap" and "Maid in Manhattan.

A Broadway vet, Reilly was Tony Award-nominated for his double duty in True West opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman. He also starred in the world premiere of the Broadway-aimed musical Marty based on the 1955 film. Also known for his film work, Reilly portrayed Amos in the Academy Award-winning "Chicago" and left his mark on other screen roles in "Boogie Nights," "The Perfect Storm," "The Anniversary Party," "Magnolia," "The Good Girl," "The Hours" and the recent "Criminal."

Ryan, a Tony nominee for her turn in the 2000 revival of Uncle Vanya, played Stella in the recent Kennedy Center production of Streetcar. The actress was also seen on Broadway in The Women, Three Sisters and The Sisters Rosensweig as well as Off-Broadway in Crimes of the Heart, Imagining Brad and As Bees in Honey Drown. She portrays Marie Dewey in the forthcoming "Capote" film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and next appears in the Off-Broadway premiere of Christopher Shinn's On the Mountain.

A member of the Atlantic Theatre Company, Bauer has appeared in the Off-Broadway troupe's The Night Heron, Mojo (both by Jez Butterworth) as well as in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of A Clockwork Orange. Known to television audiences for his role on "The Wire," the actor has also been seen on the small screen in "*61" and "Third Watch" and the films "Face/Off," "Devil's Advocate," "Flawless" and "8 MM."

Director Hall recently staged the acclaimed Chicago and New York productions of Rose Rage (repeating work he originated in England). He made his New York directorial debut with A Midsummer Night's Dream at BAM in March 2004. Other credits include the London National Theatre stagings of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and David Mamet's Edmond starring Kenneth Branagh.

The design team for Streetcar features Robert Brill (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Donald Holder (lights) and John Gromada (sound) who also provides original music.

Streetcar originally opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre Dec. 3, 1947, starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy under the direction of Elia Kazan. The play won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Roundabout staging will mark the fifth revival on Broadway (at least once a decade since the 1970s.) Recent Twentieth Century star Alec Baldwin played opposite Jessica Lange in the most recent staging in 1992. (Take a look at the original 1947 Playbill in the Playbill Archives feature.)

A Streetcar Named Desire will perform at Studio 54 at 254 West 54th Street. For more information, call Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, or go online to www.roundabouttheatre.org.