American Premiere of Bluebird Will Star Olivier Winner Simon Russell Beale Off-Broadway

News   American Premiere of Bluebird Will Star Olivier Winner Simon Russell Beale Off-Broadway
Atlantic Theater Company will welcome Olivier Award winner and Tony Award nominee Simon Russell Beale to opens its 2011-12 season with the U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens' Bluebird, about the life of a London cabbie, starting Aug. 9 at its intimate Atlantic Stage 2.

Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Gaye Taylor Upchurch will direct a cast that also includes Tobias Segal (Broadway's The Miracle Worker) and Atlantic Theater company members Kate Blumberg (Farragut North), Mary McCann (Almost an Evening) and Todd Weeks (Scarcity). Additional casting, creative team and schedule information will be announced shortly.

Opening Off-Broadway will be Aug. 22. The limited engagement will play to Sept. 9 at Atlantic's second space at 330 W. 16th Street.

Here's how Atlantic explains the play: "Jimmy MacNeill (Beale) is a London taxi driver who seems to draw personal stories and confessions from his passengers without even trying. Over the course of Simon Stephens' meticulously observed and deeply compassionate play, the truth of Jimmy's own life and secret burdens unfurls with each new 'fare.' In this acclaimed early play, the first of several he has since had produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Stephens illuminates big questions about how we transcend our own mistakes, and the value and cost of intimacy. He is an unparalleled observer of the small details that unlock joy and pain for the throngs of people anonymously going about their business in the big city."

Acclaimed British playwright Stephens (Olivier Award-winning On the Shore of the Wide World, Herons, Port, One Minute, Christmas and Country Music) makes his New York debut with Bluebird, which was originally produced at the Royal Court in London. He is the artistic associate at the Lyric, Hammersmith in London.

Director Upchurch makes her Atlantic Theater Company debut. She recently staged Naomi Iizuka's Language of Angels for Lincoln Center Theater Institute and Patrick Huguenin's Paper Dolls for the New York Fringe Festival, which received an Outstanding Ensemble Award. She is currently working with Sam Mendes on the upcoming Bridge Project production of Richard III starring Kevin Spacey. Beale, a versatile actor known for contemporary and classic work, returns to the New York stage following starring in the Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot and Tom Stoppard's critically acclaimed play Jumpers. He starred opposite Jonathan Groff in Deathtrap in London in 2010.

Atlantic is currently staging the stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly starring Carey Mulligan.

For general inquiries and/or group sales for both the main stage and Atlantic Stage 2 productions, call (212) 645-1242 or visit

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