Revival of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, with Billy Crudup, Raúl Esparza, Margaret Colin, Opens on Broadway

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17 Mar 2011

Lia Williams and Ra
Lia Williams and Ra
Photo by Carol Rosegg

Tony Award winner Billy Crudup, who made his Broadway debut in the original New York production of Arcadia, takes on a new role in the Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard's witty and poignant literary work, which officially opens March 17 at the Barrymore Theatre.

Set in both 1809 and the present, Arcadia straddles two centuries to chase a mystery surrounding Lord Byron and the death of a young poet. Crudup played Septimus Hodge in the play's Broadway debut and now takes on the role of literary academic Bernard Nightingale.

The Broadway production is based on the 2009 London revival, which five-time Tony Award-nominated director David Leveaux staged at the Duke of York's Theatre. Leveaux repeats his work for the Broadway revival, which began previews Feb. 26. The production is billed as a limited engagement through June 19.

In an interview with Playbill magazine, Stoppard spoke of his inspiration for Arcadia. "I began to think about a room in which things happened 180 years apart but the room would stay just the same," he said. "I had a sense that what would make the play would be if the audience was in the know when the modern characters were trying to figure out what happened a century earlier."

The cast also features Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza (Company, The Homecoming) as Valentine Coverlyk, Margaret Colin (Old Acquaintance) as Lady Croom, Glenn Fleshler (Spring Awakening) as Captain Brice, Grace Gummer (Much Ado About Nothing) as Chloë Coverly, Edward James Hyland (Festen) as Jellaby, Byron Jennings (The Merchant of Venice) as Richard Noakes, Bel Powley (Tusk Tusk) as Thomasina Coverly, Tom Riley (Hurts Given and Received) as Septimus Hodge, Noah Robbins (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Secrets of the Trade) as Gus Coverly/Augustus Coverly, David Turner (The Invention of Love) as Ezra Chater and Lia Williams (Skylight, The Homecoming) as Hannah Jarvis.



Hildegard Bechtler, who rendered the scenic designs for the London revival, also designs the Broadway production. The creative team also includes Gregory Gale (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting), David Van Tieghem (sound), Corin Buckeridge (music) and Jodi Moccia (choreography).

The Broadway revival is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Stephanie P. McClelland, Scott M. Delman, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Robert G. Bartner, Olympus Theatricals and Doug Smith, in association with Janine Safer Whitney.

Arcadia, according to producers, "is set in April 1809 in a stately home in Derbyshire. Thomasina, a gifted pupil, proposes a startling theory, beyond her comprehension. All around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are preoccupied with secret desires, illicit passions and professional rivalries. Two hundred years later, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard (Williams and Crudup) are piecing together puzzling clues, curiously recalling those events of 1809, in their quest for an increasingly elusive truth."

Tom Stoppard is a four-time Tony Award winner for his plays The Coast of Utopia, The Real Thing, Travesties and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. His works for the stage also include Rock 'n' Roll, Arcadia, The Invention of Love, Jumpers, Artist Descending a Staircase and Night and Day. Stoppard won an Academy Award for his screenplay for "Shakespeare in Love."

Leveaux staged the Broadway revivals of Stoppard's Jumpers and The Real Thing. On Broadway he has also directed Cyrano de Bergerac, The Glass Menagerie, Fiddler on the Roof, Nine, Betrayal, Electra, Anna Christie, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Miss Julie.

Arcadia premiered at London's Royal National Theatre in 1993 (later transferring to the West End's Haymarket) under the direction of Trevor Nunn, with Rufus Sewell, Emma Fielding, Felicity Kendal and Bill Nighy among the cast. Nunn also staged the Broadway production for Lincoln Center Theater on the Vivian Beaumont stage in 1995, with a cast including Crudup, Blair Brown, Jennifer Dundas, Victor Garber and Blair Brown. It received a 1995 Tony Award nomination for Best Play.

For tickets visit Telecharge. The Barrymore Theatre is located at 243 West 47th Street.