Dinner Is Served: Festen, Offering Family Ferment, Begins on Broadway March 23

News   Dinner Is Served: Festen, Offering Family Ferment, Begins on Broadway March 23
Larry Bryggman, Michael Hayden, Ali MacGraw, Jeremy Sisto and Julianna Margulies are among the family members trapped at a convulsive clan gathering in Festen, the stage adaptation of the Danish film of the same name, which begins previews at the Music Box March 23.

Festen stars Jeremy Sisto and Julianna Margulies.
Festen stars Jeremy Sisto and Julianna Margulies. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Opening is April 9. Bill Kenwright and Marla Rubin produce the Broadway production. Rufus Norris directs, as he did in London.

A London hit, Festen is an adaptation of the 1998 movie directed and written by Thomas Vinterberg and is part of the Dogme film movement. Rubin, who spent many months convincing the Dogme leaders to grant her the rights to the property, has said that she wants this to be the first in a series of Dogme stage adaptations.

Hayden plays the pivotal role of Christian, the son who sets off a maelstorm when he unveils an ugly family secret as a celebratory dinner held in a beautiful old hotel. Bryggman is the patriarch of the family, and MacGraw is his wife. Magulies is their daughter and Sisto is another brother.

The action remains set in Denmark.

Also in the cast are Diane Davis, Keith Davis, David Patrick Kelly, Stephen Kunken, Carrie Preston, John Carter and C.J. Wilson. Festen will feature set design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Joan Wadge, lighting by Jean Kalman, original music by Orlando Gough and sound design by Paul Arditti.

The stage adaptation is by David Eldridge, whose play Under the Blue Sky won the Time Out Live Award 2001 for Best New Play. His other plays include Serving It Up, A Week with Tony, Summer Being and Falling.


The "Dogme '95" film movement was formed in 1995 in Denmark among a handful of directors. The filmmakers who follow its dicta—filming on location; the use of only hand-held, 35 mm cameras; the exemption of artificial lighting and sound effects; a here-and-now time frame—include Lars von Triers and Thomas Vinterberg. Vinterberg's 1998 "Festen" (also known as "Celebration"), upon which the play is based, is probably the most famous "Dogme" film.

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