These star-studded London Plays Could be Coming to Broadway
Let’s give the Tonys a rest for a minute and look to London, where three productions — past, present and future — may be Broadway-bound.
Everybody’s talking about Nathan Lane, playing the diabolical Roy Cohn in “Angels in America” at the National Theatre.
Critics cheered his performance, and so have some Broadway insiders who went over there for the opening.
Anything Lane does anywhere must be considered for New York. He’s a box-office dynamo, having built up a $10 million advance last fall for “The Front Page.” And what fun he must be having as the villain, hounding old Ethel Rosenberg right into the electric chair.
Directed by Marianne Elliott (“War Horse”), the production also stars Andrew Garfield as Prior, a young man dying of AIDS. Garfield was splendid in the revival of “Death of a Salesman” a few years ago, and he’s received raves for this.
But Tony Kushner’s play, presented in two parts, is a bulky affair. A Broadway revival would be extremely expensive.
“I’d do Part 1, maybe, but Part 2 is a stretch,” says the producer of several hit plays. “Frankly, it’s not as good, and I just don’t think you can get your money back, even with Nathan.”
“Angels” may well wind up at one of the nonprofits — Lincoln Center perhaps, or a limited run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where Lane starred in a fine revival of “The Iceman Cometh” several years ago.
In the meantime, there will be a live broadcast of the National’s production in movie theaters on July 20 (Part 1) and 27 (Part 2).
Something that’s definite for Broadway is “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” which just wrapped up a sold-out run at the Royal Court.
Simon McBurney, who was on Broadway last fall in “The Encounter,” adapted and directed the play from Hollywood producer Robert Evans’ celebrated memoir. Danny Huston played Evans in this fast-paced, multimedia production. Barbara Broccoli, who controls the James Bond movie franchise, backed it, and will be bringing it to a Shubert theater in September with Patrick Milling Smith, who co-produced “Once.”
Evans, 86, suffered several strokes in recent years but plans to attend the play’s opening night in New York. “I’m walking every day to build up my strength,” he told me.
Finally, fasten your seat belts: Margo Channing is back in action.
Cate Blanchett, up for a Tony for her performance in “The Present,” will headline a stage adaptation of the greatest theater movie of all time, “All About Eve.”
Tony winner Ivo van Hove (“A View From the Bridge,” “The Crucible”) is adapting and directing the production, which opens in the West End next spring.
The producer is the prolific Sonia Friedman, who’s created her own pipeline of shows from the West End to Broadway. She’s got “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a big hit in London, headed here next season, and is said to be eyeing a Broadway house for her hit revival of “Dreamgirls,” starring Amber Riley (“Glee”).
We’ll see what Addison DeWitt (or his real-life counterpart, me —
Addison deHalfwit) has to say the next time he has dinner with Blanchett