Coast of Utopia Cancels Oct. 18 Show as Richard Easton Collapses on Stage

News   Coast of Utopia Cancels Oct. 18 Show as Richard Easton Collapses on Stage
The Oct. 18 performance of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater was abruptly cancelled mid-show when actor Richard Easton collapsed on stage.

Richard Easton
Richard Easton Photo by Aubrey Reuben

According to an LCT spokesperson, Easton is currently stable and alert and undergoing a series of tests. It is not known what caused Easton's illness.

The incident happened toward the end of the play. Ticketholders will be offered refunds or exchanges.

In the ambitious work, which is being presented in three part, Easton plays multiple roles. The actor has become a steady presence in the New York Theatre in recent seasons, often appearing at Lincoln Center, where he won a Tony Award for Stoppard's The Invention of Love. Other credits include The Rivals, Noises Off and Henry IV.

The Coast of Utopia will continue its run Oct. 19, with Easton's understudy David Manis stepping in.

* The first installment of Stoppard's ambitious three-part play known as The Coast of Utopia began performances at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater on Oct. 17.

The Coast of Utopia is centered on the political and philosophical idealism and debates of mid-nineteenth-century Russia, examining the movements that excited artists and thinkers in those days. The show moves chronologically on from the 1830s, when the great Romantic poet Pushkin was still alive and his epic poem "Eugene Onegin" was all the rage in educated circles.

Jack O'Brien, the Broadway director of Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Henry IV and The Invention of Love, helms the New York bow of the nine-hour Coast of Utopia triptych.

Heading the large cast are Billy Crudup, Richard Easton, Jennifer Ehle, Josh Hamilton, David Harbour, Ethan Hawke, Martha Plimpton, Amy Irving, Jason Butler Harner and Brían F. O'Byrne.

In Utopia, O'Byrne plays the mid-19th century Russia radical theorist and editor, Alexander Herzen. Stephen Dillane essayed the part in London. Crudup plays literary critic Vissarion Belinsky. Hawke is the aristocrat-turned-anarchist Michael Bakunin and Hamilton is the poet Nicholas Ogarev. Ehle, Harbour and Plimpton are featured in multiple roles throughout the three-part work. Jason Butler Harner plays the novelist Ivan Turgenev ("Fathers and Sons"). Amy Irving plays two characters in different parts of the play, Varvara Bakunin (the mother of Hawke’s character) and Maria Ogarev (the estranged wife of Hamiton's character).

The additional players include Bianca Amato, Mia Barron, Larry Bull, Denis Butkus, Michael Carlsen, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Anthony Cochrane, Patricia Conolly (Waiting in the Wings, Enchanted April), David Cromwell (Julius Caesar), Adam Dannheisser, Matt Dickson, Aaron Krohn, Felicity LaFortune, Jennifer Lyon, David Manis, Andrew McGinn, Kellie Overbey (The Music Teacher, Betty's Summer Vacation), Scott Parkinson, David Pittu (Stuff Happens), Annie Purcell, Erika Rolfsrud, Brian Sgambati, Robert Stanton (The Right Kind of People, All in the Timing), Eric Sheffer Stevens, Baylen Thomas and David C. Wells (The Rivals, Big Doolie).

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