Playing ex-lovers and semi-siblings in the emotional shootout of a lifetime, Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda will reprise their summer vacation performances in Sam Shepard’s intense, intimate 1983 play on Broadway beginning next September. The show was widely viewed as a likely New York transfer, and the move signifies not only the draw of star-power (and a great work) but of good old-fashioned connections.
This revival was mounted last July at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where it earned considerable praise (though not from everyone). In New York, it will run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, the Broadway flagship of the nonprofit Manhattan Theatre Club. Williamstown’s new artistic director, Mandy Greenfield, recently took over the esteemed Berkshires venue after a 10-year run at MTC, most recently as artistic producer, i.e. number two to a.d Lynne Meadow. Greenfield is one of the most admired and well-liked producers in the nonprofit world. The festival has become an increasingly valuable tryout arena for New York-bound shows, the most recent example being the Bradley Cooper-led revival of The Elephant Man, opening Sunday on Broadway. It was first mounted at Williamstown a couple of summers back.
Arianda (Venus In Fur) and Rockwell (Laggies, The Way Way Back) were last-minute replacements for Chris Pine and Lauren Ambrose. The show is staged by Daniel Aukin. Shepard’s new play, A Particle Of Dread (Oedipus Variations) recently opened at off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre. Fool For Love will begin performances on September 15 and open on October 8.
Manhattan Theatre Club also announced the world premiere of Ripcord, by David Lindsay-Abaire (Fuddy Meers, Good People), to be directed buy David Hyde Pierce and starring Marylouise Burke and Mary Louise Wilson, but not Mary-Louise Parker (because no hyphenates were allowed besides the playwright, just kidding). MTC, which commissioned the piece, describes it as “a high-stakes comedy about two women of a certain age locked in a no-holds-barred battle to the death.” It was workshopped in June at New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater collaboration with Vassar College. Ripcord will begin performances at MTC’s off-Broadway City Center Stage 1 on September 29 and open on October 20.