The Union Jack will be flying over Broadway big-time this coming season, as talk heats up about bringing Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan and the acclaimed National Theatre revival of David Hare’s Skylight to New York in the spring. I wrote a few weeks ago that while the Stephen Daldry production will be telecast in the fall by NT Live, far better would be the chance to see Hare’s extraordinarily moving play — about the expired romance between an older, self-made businessman and an idealistic young teacher, roles created by Michael Gambon and Lia Williams — on Broadway.
This week the show, which runs in London through August, got the stamp of approval from the Times‘ Ben Brantley and Michael Reidel speculates that Scott Rudin and Robert Fox are joining forces to bring it over in the spring. I’m told that conversations are indeed going on to bring the show in. “Even more than in Richard Eyre’s fine 1996 Broadway production,” Brantley wrote of Nighy (who appeared on Broadway in Hare’s 2006 The Vertical Hour) and Mulligan, “I was always aware of how ineffably, achingly attracted each was to the other, and of the diametrically opposed ways in which that attraction became flesh.”
Skylight will have plenty of company: September 10 will see the first performance of another celebrated National Theatre import, The Curious Incident Of The Dog in The Night-Time. And on Halloweeen, Jez Butterworth’s The River starts up at Circle In The Square with Hugh Jackman, directed by Ian Rickson (who also staged Butterworth’s amazing Jerusalem in 2011, with Mark Rylance).
And maybe we should include The Elephant Man in this British invasion, since American-born Bernard Pomerance is an honorary Brit and his play (which will star Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson) had its 1977 premiere at the Hampstead Theatre before being picked up by, yes, the National, and coming to Broadway.
HBO Films has made it official that Mike Nichols will reunite with Meryl Streep (their first collaboration was the 1983 Silkwood, followed by Heartburn, Postcards From The Edge and, of course, Angels In America) for the film of Terrence McNally’s Master Class, which opened on Broadway in 1995, starring Zoe Caldwell as opera diva Maria Callas and Audra McDonald as her challenging student; an equally brilliant 2011 revival starred Tyne Daly and Sierra Boggess. Film production starts early in 2015, per HBO.
Nichols is making a rare appearance tonight at the Golden Theatre, where he’ll be interviewed onstage by fellow director Jack O’Brien, who just staged the terrific production of Much Ado About Nothing in Central Park. The talk is being filmed by HBO for an as-yet unscheduled showing. And we’ll be there. Well, I will…