Broadway gets a "Closer" look at 1998 Tony Award winner Natasha Richardson (Cabaret) when Patrick Marber's West End hit officially opens at the Music Box Theatre March 24. The Broadway premiere of Closer began previews March 9.
Richardson won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Best Actress Awards for her performance as Sally Bowles in the Roundabout's revival of Cabaret, the same theatre company that brought her a Tony and Drama Desk nomination for Anna Christie. Her West End credits include High Society, The Seagull, A Midsummer's Night Dream and Hamlet at the Young Vic. She has also appeared on film in "The Handmaid's Tale," "The Comfort of Strangers," "Nell" and Disney's "The Parent Trap."
Joining Richardson are three British actors: Rupert Graves as Dan, Anna Friel as Alice and Ciaran Hinds as Larry. Graves, who is perhaps best known in America for his film work in "Maurice," "Where Angels Fear To Tread" and "The Madness of King George," has performed in the Royal National Theatre's `Tis Pity She's a Whore and A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as productions of Amadeus, Torch Song Trilogy, A Madhouse in Goa and The Pitchfork Disney.
Primarily a film and television actress, Friel recently starred in "The Land Girls" and Masterpiece Theatre's "Our Mutual Friend" as well as being featured in the up-coming Michael Hoffman "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Hermia. Hinds' theatre and film credits include Assassins (Donmar Warehouse), Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), Machinal (Royal National Theatre), "Mary Reilly," "Circle of Friends" and "Oscar and Lucinda."
Playwright Marber (Dealer's Choice) directs the play on Broadway as he did in the West End. Designing the show are Vicki Mortimer (set), Hugh Vanstone (lighting) and Simon Baker (sound). Original music is composed by Paddy Cunneen. Closer, which explores the vicissitudes of modern love, features a quartet of lovers caught up in a web of love, lust, sex and betrayal. The various London casts of foursomes featured many prominent actors, including Liza Walker, Frances Barber, Imogen Stubbs, Neil Pearson, Lloyd Owen and Tom Mannion.
Among its many accolades, Closer won the 1997 Time Out Award for Best Play in the West End, the 1997 Evening Standard Best Comedy Award, the 1997 Critics Circle Best Play Award and the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Marber was also a runner-up for the 1997 Lloyds' Playwright of the Year Award.
Tickets for Closer ($15-$60) are on sale through Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. Closer's official website is http://www.closer.co.uk.