David Hyde Pierce, Mark Rylance and Joanna Lumley Open La Bête in London

News   David Hyde Pierce, Mark Rylance and Joanna Lumley Open La Bête in London
The Broadway-bound revival of La Bête, David Hirson's 17th-century-set Molière-flavored satire starring Tony Award winners David Hyde Pierce and Mark Rylance and BAFTA winner Joanna Lumley, officially opens July 7 at London's Comedy Theatre.
Promo art for La B
Promo art for La B

Under the direction of Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage, Boeing-Boeing, The Norman Conquests), Hirson's 1991 comedy about epic theatrical egos began previews June 26 and will continue through Sept. 4.

Following the London enagement, La Bête and its starry cast will arrive on Broadway Sept. 23 at the Music Box Theatre. An official opening has been set for Oct. 14.

In addition to Hyde Pierce (Curtains, Spamalot), Rylance (Boeing-Boeing, Jerusalem) and Lumley ("Absolutely Fabulous"), the London cast includes Stephen Ouimette (acclaimed for his work at Canada's Stratford Festival, and star of TV's cult-hit "Slings and Arrows"), Lisa Joyce, Greta Lee, Robert Lonsdale, Michael Milligan, Liza Sadovy, Sally Wingert, Alan Freestone and Hannah Tollman.

For the new staging, the role of Prince Conti (originated on Broadway by Dylan Baker) has been changed to Princess Conti, with Lumley in the part.

According to producers, "La Bête is a comic tour de force about Elomire (Hyde Pierce), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere (Rylance), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the dynamic Princess (Lumley) decides she's grown weary of Elomire's royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages."

La Bête is produced in London and New York by Scott Landis and Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Robert G. Bartner/Norman Tulchin, Bob Boyett/Tim Levy, Roy Furman, Max Cooper, Philip Morgaman/Frankie J. Grande and Bud Martin.

The production has set design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, music by Claire van Kampen and sound design by Simon Baker.

La Bête made its short-lived Broadway premiere in 1991, playing 25 performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The original cast featured Dylan Baker, Micheal Cumpsty and Tom McGowan. The play received acclaim when it arrived in London in 1992, earning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

For tickets to the London run, phone 0844 871 7627 or visit LaBetethePlay.

Tickets for the Broadway run are available by phoning (212) 239-6200 or by visiting Telecharge.

(L-R): Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce in <i>La B</i>
(L-R): Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce in La B Photo by Manuel Harlan
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