As reported by Variety and confirmed by spokesperson Adrian Bryan-Brown, Terry Johnson's psychological comedy Hysteria won't be coming to Broadway in October, as had been announced weeks ago. A production may appear in the spring, but it's too early to where or even if.
First produced at the Royal Court in 1992, then revived at the Duke of York Theatre in early 1996, Hysteria was to have been directed again by Phyllida Lloyd, who told Variety, "We just couldn't cast it. It's been an incredibly frustrating and upsetting thing, since it feels as if it's a play that might speak to a New York audience." Lloyd noted that Henry Goodman was already in place to play the lead, Sigmund Freud, but the producers couldn't find a big enough name (in NY circles) to justify mounting the $1.7 play on Broadway.
Spokesperson Bryan-Brown told Playbill On-Line the casting problem was, indeed, a factor in the decision to cancel/postpone Hysteria, but the move was also due to the busy schedules of everyone involved, including dramatist Johnson readying another play for the National, Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick which recently had to replace lead Antony Sher with Geoffrey Hutchings.
Hysteria was to start Broadway previews Oct. 23, but no venue or cast had been announced by the Dodger producing team, though Variety mentions the Longacre as the proposed theatre. (Lloyd and designer Mark Thomson hinted in Variety that if the show does arrive in the spring, it may go for an Off-Broadway house first and then, if things go well, make the uptown move.)
* As for the play itself, it posits two questions: if Picasso and Einstein can meet in the Lapin Agile, why can't Freud and Salvador Dali have a pow-wow in Freud's study? And why can't that chat happen on the worst possible day -- when Freud's most troubled patient needs his help the most?
Director Lloyd's recent assignments include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Royal National Theatre. Other plays by Johnson include Days Here So Dark, Imagine Drowning and Insignificance.
-- By David Lefkowitz