Though Broadway shows can sometimes change casts faster than a game of musical chairs, one show that's holding steady is The Diary of Anne Frank. Despite boasting such name-players as Linda Lavin, Natalie Portman, Austin Pendleton, George Hearn, Harris Yulin and Sophie Hayden, the drama's cast is expected to stay intact throughout the summer, according to a spokesperson at the Publicity Office. James Lapine's Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank opened Dec. 4 at the Music Box Theatre. As of the week ending Mar. 1, the show grossed $196,053, with attendance at 63 percent.
The revival, which uses a revised script that emphasizes the darker aspects of the story more, and explores its sexuality and religious dimension in greater depth than the 1955. According to the Publicity Office, playwright Wendy Kesselman has adapted the Albert Hackett/ Frances Goodrich drama with passages from the 1995 Doubleday volume, "The Diary Of A Young Girl: The Definitive Edition," which contains 30 percent more material than was originally published.
Before Broadway, the production tried out in October at Boston's Colonial Theatre.
Lapine (Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods) directs the 1955 drama about a Dutch Jewish teenager hiding with her family from the Nazis during World War II. Sixteen-year-old actress Portman portrays Frank, who died in a concentration camp after her family was discovered and lived on in her diaries, which were found by the family that hid her. Portman reportedly regards Frank as a personal hero.
Hearn (La Cage Aux Folles), a two-time Tony winner, plays Anne's father, Otto Frank. Hayden (Tony nominee for The Most Happy Fella) plays Mrs. Frank. Pendleton (Fiddler on the Roof) will play Mr. Dussel; Yulin (The Visit) plays Mr. Van Daan and Lavin, who received a Tony Award for Neil Simon's Broadway Bound and is best known for starring in the 70's TV sitcom, "Alice," plays Mrs. Van Daan. Also in the cast are Jonathan Kaplan (Tony nominee as Jason in Falsettos) as Peter Van Daan, Jessica Walling as Miep, Philip Goodwin as Mr. Kraler, James Hallet and Peter Kybart.
Portman, who had appeared previously in 1994's The Professional and 1996's Beautiful Girls, pulled out of a Robert Redford film in order to star in the revival. She appeared in the recent films Mars Attacks! and Woody Allen's Everybody Says I Love You but withdrew from The Horse Whisperer, directed by Redford, in order to do the revival.
Designers for the show include costumer Martin Pakledinaz (The Life), set designer Adrienne Lobel (Passion), lighting designer Brian MacDevitt (Master Class), and sound designer Dan Moses Schreier (Noise/Funk).
For tickets & information on The Diary Of Anne Frank at the Music Box Theatre, call (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line. For more information on the show itself, check out the website: Anne Frank.
Tickets are on sale via TeleCharge, (212) 239-6200. Also, student rush tickets are available one hour before curtain. Students with valid I.D. can buy up to two tickets for $20 each at the box office.