Richard Thomas Does Civic Duty in Upcoming Twelve Angry Men National Tour

News   Richard Thomas Does Civic Duty in Upcoming Twelve Angry Men National Tour
Richard Thomas — who recently appeared on Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s A Naked Girl on the Appian Way — will headline the forthcoming national tour of the nonprofit’s Twelve Angry Men.
Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The national tour of the classic Reginald Rose jury-room drama as staged by Scott Ellis (1776, She Loves Me) will launch from New Haven, Connecticut’s Shubert Theater Sept. 19 according to production spokespersons.

The company announced in May 2005 that the Ellis staging would embark on a national tour — featuring the same design team — to be presented in association with Clear Channel Entertainment in the 2006-2007 season. Further casting and tour stop are yet to be announced.

Thomas — who will take on the role of Juror #8 (played by Boyd Gaines in the Broadway run) — starred opposite Jill Clayburgh in the world premiere of Richard Greenberg's A Naked Girl on the Appian Way through Roundabout. The actor, also seen of late in As You Like It and Democracy, made his Broadway debut at the age of seven in Sunrise at Campobello. He grew to become known for his Emmy Award-winning turn as John-Boy in "The Waltons." Other stage credits include The Stendahl Syndrome, Tiny Alice, Love Letters, The Front Page, Fifth of July and The Seagull.

The design team includes Allen Moyer (sets), Michael Krass (costumes), Paul Palazzo (lights) and Brian Ronan (sound).

The recent run of Twelve Angry Men — a revival, though the first time the work has been staged on Broadway — began previews Oct. 1, 2004 and opened Oct. 28 at the American Airlines Theatre for a scheduled engagement through Dec. 19. The popular show, however, extended its run seven times before finally closing May 15, 2005. Roundabout also previously announced that Bill Kenwright (recently represented on Broadway by The Glass Menagerie and Primo) will team to present a production in London's West End in Fall 2006.

Set in a jury room,Twelve Angry Men tells the story of a murder trial in which a youth is alleged to have killed his father. The case seems like an open-and-shut situation as eleven of the unnamed jurors believe the defendant to be guilty. Juror #8, however, is not so certain, stirring up the room and setting off a number of arguments.

Twelve Angry Men proved the most popular Roundabout staging at the American Airlines Theatre since the company's reopening of the venue in 2000. The Rose drama outran the longest running production in the space by almost triple the performances: the 2001 revival of Clare Boothe Luce's The Women — starring Kristen Johnston, Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Tilly played 77 show over 13 weeks. Twelve Angry Men will have played 229 performances in 32 weeks. (The former Selwyn Theatre was home to the long-running Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman 1927 comedy The Royal Family which played 345 performances.)

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