Donald Sutherland's film commitments have prompted the sudden postponement of the Toronto production of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Enigma Variations, which was to begin performances Sept. 14. A production spokesperson at Mirvish Productions in Toronto confirmed that Sutherland has delayed his Toronto engagement at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until next year.
"Donald Sutherland is doing a movie with Clint Eastwood and because of the movie we got bumped," the spokesperson told Playbill On-Line. Sutherland has been rescheduled to perform in Enigma from Feb. 17 April 1. Because the rescheduled date falls within the current subscription year at the Royal Alexandra, subscribers are expected to see the show as planned, only later in the season. No tickets for Enigma were sold to the general public, according to Mirvish's Toronto office.
Enigma was originally scheduled to reach Broadway in April 2000, although no specific theatre had been announced. A production spokesperson was not available for comment on Sept. 13.
As earlier reported by Playbill On-Line, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Enigma Variations, is the two-hander psychological thriller that starred Donald Sutherland at the Mark Taper Forum last Spring.
Enigma will mark movie actor Sutherland's first Broadway appearance since acting in Edward Albee's ill-fated Lolita in 1981. Sutherland became a movie star following his portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce in the Robert Altman movie "M*A*S*H." He went on to become one of the leading film actors of the early 70s, delivering performances in such off beat films as "Klute," "Kelly's Heroes" and "Little Murders." In recent years, Sutherland has played memorable villains and supporting character roles, in film including "Backdraft," "JFK" and "A Time to Kill." He most recently played the coach in Robert Towne's "Without Limits." His son, Kiefer Sutherland has enjoyed a popular career as an actor and director. Schmitt's Enigma focuses on a reclusive Nobel Prize-winning writer Abel Znorko (Sutherland) who gives an interview to a small-town journalist, Erik Larsen (played by Jamie Sheridan at the Taper), that leads to a life and-death battle of The Taper show began previews April 24 and officially opened May 6 for a limited run through June 13 of this year.
-- Murdoch McBride