The producers of the new Broadway production of the three-character play confirmed July 14 that the Belasco Theatre (home of Passing Strange until July 20) will relight Oct. 3, the first preview date. An official opening date has yet to be announced.
Raúl Esparza, most recently on Broadway in the revival of The Homecoming, will play the role of Hollywood producer Charlie Fox.
Esparza joins the previously announced Jeremy Piven, the Chicago actor best known for his role as Ari Gold on HBO's "Entourage," who will play production exec Bobby Gould. The role of secretary Karen, which was created in the original production by Madonna, has yet to be cast.
Atlantic Theater Company artistic director Neil Pepe will helm the production. Producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler (who also partnered on Spring Awakening and August: Osage County).
"Speed-the-Plow focuses on two high-powered Hollywood executives, Charlie Fox and Bobby Gould, who have come up from the mailroom together," according to press notes. "Charlie brings Bobbie a surefire hit with a major star attached. Bobby seems certain to give the green light, until his beautiful new secretary gets involved." The design team will include two-time Tony Award-winning set designer Scott Pask with costumes by Laura Bauer.
Speed-the-Plow was first produced on Broadway in 1988 featuring Madonna, Joe Mantegna and Ron Silver. A London revival at the Old Vic starred Kevin Spacey, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Michelle Kelley.
Raul Esparza has starred on Broadway in The Homecoming, Company, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Taboo, Cabaret and The Rocky Horror Show. He won Drama Desk Awards for his performances in Taboo and Company and received Tony nominations for his work in those shows as well. He was also Tony-nominated for his work in The Homecoming. Off-Broadway Esparza was seen in tick, tick . . . BOOM! and the revival of The Normal Heart. He also starred in two of the Stephen Sondheim musicals that comprised the Sondheim Celebration at the Kennedy Center, Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along.
A founder of the Atlantic Theater Company, David Mamet's principal works include The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross (Pulitzer Prize), Boston Marriage, Edmond, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow and The Cryptogram (Obie Award). He recently adapted The Voysey Inheritance for the Atlantic and is currently represented on Broadway with the acclaimed political comedy November.
Next season will also see a revival of Mamet's American Buffalo starring John Leguizamo and directed by Robert Falls.