As reported in mid-June, Neil LaBute's latest play, The Shape of Things, which is part of the Almeida season in London, will soon find itself Off-Broadway. LaBute's drama begins previews at the Promenade Theatre Sept. 20 and opens there Oct. 10, with LaBute again directing, according to a spokesperson Richard Kornberg.
The Shape of Things opened in London on May 30 (previews from May 24) and ran to June 23. The show was then brought back and continues until Aug. 4. The spokesman confirmed that the producers "are in negotiations with the London cast" — Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz and Frederick Weller — in the hopes that they'll all be able to do the OB production.
The producing team for the play includes Susan Quint Gallin, Sandy Gallin, Stuart Thompson, Ben Sprecher and USA/Ostar Theatricals.
In Shape, Weisz plays an art student in the play which peels back the skin of two modern relationships. How far would you go for love? How far for art? What would you be willing to change? Which price might you pay?
Rudd appeared in the Off-Broadway's production of LaBute's bash a couple seasons ago. His other New York stage appearances include Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center Theater and The Last Night of Ballyhoo on Broadway. On film, he has been seen in "The Object of My Affection," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Clueless." Mol's film work includes Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown" and "Rounders." LaBute's play will mark her London stage debut.
This is Weisz's third West End appearance. She has previously appeared in Noel Coward's Design for Living at the Donmar Warehouse and, in 1999, starred in Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer at the Comedy. Weisz is best known for her film roles, including the just released "Enemy at the Gates," "The Mummy," and "Stealing Beauty".
The Almeida last year presented the British premiere of LaBute's bash, a collection of three one-act pieces. bash was a hit Off-Broadway, in a staging that feature Calista Flockhart, Ron Eldard and Paul Rudd. LaBute's previous plays include Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Sanguinarians and Sycophants, Rounder and Ravages. His films include "In The Company of Men" (for which he received the New York Critics' Circle Best First Feature Award and the Filmmakers' Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), "Your Friends and Neighbors" and "Nurse Betty." LaBute's adaptation of "Possession," based on AS Byatt's novel, will be released later this year.
The Shape of Things at the Almeida is designed by Giles Cadle, with costume design by Lynette Meyer, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Fergus O'Hare, who are likely to repeat their duties in New York.
— By David Lefkowitz
and Robert Simonson, Terri Paddock