Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) is pleased to announce full casting for the new Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s Tony & Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama True West, directed by James Macdonald (The Children), starring acclaimed screen and stage actors Ethan Hawke as “Lee” and Paul Dano as “Austin.” Marylouise Burke and Gary Wilmes join the cast as “Mom” and “Saul Kimmer.”
Opposites attack in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two brothers with more in common than they think. Holed up in their mother’s California house, screenwriter Austin (Dano) and lowlife Lee (Hawke) wrestle with big issues—and each other. Order vs. chaos. Art vs. commerce. Typewriter vs. toaster…Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway, gleefully detonating our misguided myths of family, identity and the American Dream.
Shepard, Hawke and Dano have long artistic relationships, with Hawke being a longtime collaborator and friend of the late Sam Shepard. Hawke has also acted alongside Dano on film (Taking Lives) and directed him on stage (Things We Want).
Roundabout Theatre Company welcomes back Paul Dano who made his Broadway debut at age 10, in the 1995 revival of A Month in the Country starring Helen Mirren and Gary Wilmes, who was featured recently in Steven Levenson’s If I Forget at the Laura Pels Theatre.
Roundabout is also pleased to announce the creative team will include Tony Award winner Mimi Lien (Sets), and Roundabout alumnae: Obie winner Kaye Voyce (Costumes) and Tony nominee Jane Cox (Lights).
True West will begin preview performances on December 27, 2018 and officially open on Broadway on Thursday, January 24, 2019. This will be a limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).
Ethan Hawke(Lee) is a Tony and four-time Academy Award nominated actor and writer whose diverse career as a novelist, actor, director, and screenwriter spans more than three decades. Hawke recently premiered “BLAZE” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category, a drama he produced, co-wrote and directed about the life of country western musician Blaze Foley. The film received rave reviews and won the Special Jury Award for actor Ben Dickey’s spellbinding performance. Hawke stars alongside Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd in the Judd Apatow-produced romantic comedy, “Juliet, Naked,” based on the best-selling Nick Hornby novel of the same name. Directed by Jesse Peretz, the film also premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate. He also stars in Paul Schrader’s long-awaited and timely political and environmental thriller “First Reformed.” The film premiered at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival before making its way to Telluride and Toronto while garnering Hawke some of the best reviews of his career as an actor. A24 acquired the film and will release it on June 22, 2018. Hawke’s critically-acclaimed performances and collaboration with friend and filmmaker Richard Linklater in “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset,” and “Before Midnight” opposite Julie Delpy have become a landmark in American independent film. Hawke, Linklater and Delpy co-wrote the screenplays for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” and received Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations for both scripts. The trio were honored with the Louis XIII Genius Award for achievement in cinematic works for the “Before” films at the BFCA Critics Choice Awards. Hawke has collaborated with Linklater on multiple occasions, including “Fast Food Nation;” “Waking Life;” “The Newton Boys” and “Tape.” Their most recent collaboration, “Boyhood,” premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released by IFC that summer. Hawke starred alongside Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in the critically acclaimed and groundbreaking film that was shot intermittently over 12 years chronicling the life of a child from age 6-18. For his performance, Ethan received Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Film Independent Spirit Award, Critics’ Choice Film Award, and Gotham Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Throughout his career, Hawke has starred in over 50 films including “Reality Bites;” “Good Kill;” “Predestination;” “The Purge;” “Explorers;” “White Fang;” “Gattaca;” “Great Expectations;” “Hamlet;” “What Doesn’t Kill You;” “Brooklyn’s Finest;” “Sinister;” “Maudie,” “Maggie’s Plan,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Phenom,” “In a Valley of Violence” “Born to Be Blue.” and “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead.” Hawke received Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Supporting Actor nominations for his work in Antoine Fuqua’s “Training Day,” opposite Denzel Washington. Behind the lens, Hawke made his directorial debut in 2001 with his drama “Chelsea Walls.” Additionally, he directed Josh Hamilton in the short film “Straight to One,” a story of a couple, young and in love, living in the Chelsea Hotel. He made his documentary directorial debut with “Seymour: An Introduction,” which premiered at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival and later played internationally at the Toronto International Film Festival. The project follows the life of the legendary pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein. A noted writer and novelist, Hawke’s graphic novel, Indeh with illustrator Greg Ruth was published by Grand Central Publishing on June 7, 2016. Indeh captures the narrative of two nations at war who strive to find peace and forgiveness in a time of great upheaval. It debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List for Hardcover Graphic Novels. In 2015, Hawke released his first children’s book Rules for a Knight which features illustrations by his wife, Ryan Hawke. The New York Times best-seller is framed as a long-lost document, recently found and republished by Hawke, a distant relative of the knight, Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke. In addition to his work as a novelist, in April 2009, Hawke wrote an in-depth and celebrated profile of icon Kris Kristofferson for Rolling Stone. In 2002, his second novel, Ash Wednesday, was published by Knopf and was chosen for Bloomsbury’s contemporary classics series. In 1996, Hawke wrote his first novel, The Hottest State, published by Little Brown and now in its nineteenth printing. In his sophomore directorial endeavor, Hawke adapted for the screen and directed the on-screen version of “The Hottest State” and also directed a music video for the film, featuring Lisa Loeb. At the age of twenty-one, Hawke founded the Malaparte Theater Co., which gave young artists a home to develop their craft for more than five years. The next year, in 1992, Hawke made his Broadway debut in “The Seagull.” Additionally, he has appeared in “Henry IV” alongside Richard Easton on Broadway; “Buried Child” (Steppenwolf); “Hurlyburly,” for which he earned a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor and Drama League Award Nomination for Distinguished Performance (The New Group); Tom Stoppard’s “The Coast of Utopia,” for which he was honored with a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play and Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance (Lincoln Center); the inaugural season of The Bridge Project’s double billings of “The Cherry Orchard” and “A Winter’s Tale,” for which Hawke received a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Old Vic); and “Blood From A Stone” (The New Group) which earned him a 2011 Obie Award for Performance. In 2007, Hawke made his Off-Broadway directing debut with the world premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman’s dark comedy, “Things We Want”. In 2010, Hawke directed Sam Shepard’s “A Lie of the Mind,” for which he received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play as well as recognition in the New York Times and The New Yorker top ten lists of the leading theatre productions in 2010. In 2012, he starred in Chekov’s “Ivanov” for the Classic Stage Company. In 2013, he directed and starred in “Clive,” a stage adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal,” by Jonathan Marc Sherman (The New Group), and completed a successful run of Lincoln Center Theatre’s production of “Macbeth” in the title role. Hawke resides in New York and is married with four children.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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