Same century — the 18th — but different ladies and very different emotions: In the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the Christopher Hampton play about sex-and-power games, she plays malicious La Marquise de Merteuil, who is convinced she was born to dominate the male sex.
Ben Daniels plays sparring partner Le Vicomte de Valmont in the new Rufus Norris-directed production of the 1985 Olivier Award-winning play (billed as a dark comedy) based on the scandalous 1782 novel by Choderlos de Laclos. Hampton also penned the screenplay to the Academy Award-nominated 1988 film version, "Dangerous Liaisons."
The limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre (227 West 42nd Street) will officially open May 1.
"The definitive battle of the sexes springs to life in this Tony Award-nominated classic by Christopher Hampton," according to Roundabout. "For long-time friends and occasional lovers Vicomte de Valmont (Daniels) and Marquise de Merteuil (Linney), love is simply a game of chess. But in a few false moves, they're about to find themselves locked in the ultimate checkmate. Filled with seduction, betrayal, and plenty of illicit passion, this dark comedy paints the pre-Revolutionary French aristocracy in all its cynicism and decadence." The cast also includes Siân Phillips as Madame De Rosemonde, Jessica Collins as Madame De Tourvel, Mamie Gummer as Cecile Volanges, Kristine Nielsen as Madame De Volanges, Benjamin Walker as Danceny, Rosie Benton as Emile, Derek Cecil as Azolan, Kevin Duda as Servant and Jane Pfitsch as Servant.
The drama won the Olivier Award for Best Play in its 1985 London premiere. Director Norris staged Broadway's Festen.
The creative team includes Scott Pask (sets), Katrina Lindsay (costumes), Paul Arditti (sound), Paul Huntley (hair and wigs), Deborah Hecht (dialect), Rick Sordelet (fight direction) and Donald Holder (lights).
Daniels (who earned the Olivier Award for the Royal National Theatre staging of All My Sons) has appeared on the London stage in Therese Raquin, The God of Hell, Tales From Hollywood, Naked, Waiting for Godot, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and more. He has been seen on television in "The State Within," "Elizabeth-The Virgin Queen," "Ian Fleming-A Life in Pictures," "Truth or Dare," and "Romeo and Juliet." Film credits include "Beautiful Thing," "Luna," "Doom" and "Madeleine." Daniels is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
Linney, an Oscar nominee for her work opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman in the feature film "The Savages," enjoys both a stage and film career. Her recent Broadway work in Sight Unseen, The Crucible and Uncle Vanya have been peppered amid film work in "You Can Count on Me," "Mystic River," "Kinsey" and "Love Actually." She has also appeared on stage in Honour, Holiday, Hedda Gabler and The Seagull. Her film credits also include "The Nanny Diaries," "Breach," "The Squid and the Whale," "The Life of David Gale," "The Truman Show" and the HBO version of "The Laramie Project," as well as HBO's "John Adams."
Tickets are available by calling Roundabout ticket services at (212) 719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines box office, 227 West 42nd Street. Ticket prices range from $56.25 to $101.25.
Through ACCESS Roundabout, 100 tickets will be available for the first preview performance (April 12) for $10 each.
For more information visit www.roundaboutheatre.org.
Howard Davies directed the original 1987 Broadway production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Music Box Theatre with Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan as the dueling duo. The work was nominated for the Best Play Tony Award; stars Rickman and Duncan were also Tony-nominated.