Clive Owen will make his Broadway debut in a revival of Harold Pinter’s Old Times, directed by Tony Award winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage Aux Folles). Previews for the Roundabout Theatre Company production will begin September 17, followed by the official opening on October 15.
“My first season with Roundabout included Old Times, our first Broadway season opened with The Homecoming and we opened the first Laura Pels Theatre with Moonlight,” said Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes. “It is with great joy that we open our 50th season with Harold Pinter, and welcome Clive for his Broadway debut.”
Owen played Larry in Patrick Marber’s Closer, directed by Mike Nichols, as well as the world premiere of the Marber play at the National Theatre. The actor is currently in New York shooting Season 2 of Steven Soderbergh’s Cinemax series The Knick, for which he recently received a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination.
Playwright David Ives writes big-themed adaptations (Venus In Fur, Is He Dead?), plays in verse and multiple rehabs of brilliant Broadway musicals no one ever heard of. But his metier is the black-out sketch, the first collection of which, All In The Timing, put him on the map and the latest, Lives Of The Saints, is so alive with humor, humaneness and heart that it promises spring even in this locked cellar of an endless winter.
The Primary Stages show, at the Duke On 42nd Street theater, comprises six brief plays from the author’s trunk (give him a break; he’s working on a new musical with Stephen Sondheim, based on two Buñuel films). The best of them (the title play, set in the kitchen of a church social hall in Chicago; Soap Opera, about a man’s love for his washing machine) take us into the somewhat twisted mind of a writer who is, deep down, a sentimentalist. And the very best, the one that went home with me and stayed awhile, was It’s All Good, about a successful writer who returns to his hometown (Chicago, again) to deliver a speech, only to encounter an oddly familiar stranger who turns the visit into something altogether unexpected, equal parts Twilight Zone and O. Henry. John Rando (Urinetown) directs a quintet of actors well-practiced in Ives’ plotty quirks and linguistic gambols, and they’re perfect. You have until the end of the month to catch it.
Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot, Passing Strange) will replace Lena Hall as Yitzhak in the four-Tony winner Hedwig And The Angry Inch, beginning April 14 at the Belasco Theatre. She joins John Cameron Mitchell, who has taken over the title role in the show he co-created. Jones (Big Love, Passing Strange) can also be seen in the indie film Ratter, which had its premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in January. Hall, who originated the role of Yitzhak in the Broadway revival and won a Tony for her work, will play her final performance on April 4.
Harvey Weinstein is all over Times Square. One of those huge new digital billboards that make your eyes bleed and your heart hurt features, in rotation, kinetic ads for Finding Neverland, the musical adaptation of the Miramax film that’s soon to begin performances at the Nederlander-owned Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and the Radio City Musical Hall Spring Spectacular (in the days before political correctitude, I recall it was simply the Easter show). HW is the producer behind both (the latter in collaboration with James Dolan), and Diane Paulus is overseeing both.
Harvey has a lot riding on them, particularly the ever-evolving Finding Neverland, which has managed to lay low since its most recent tryout run last summer at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA (the nonprofit Paulus somehow manages to run when not gigging with the Weinsteins, Cirque du Soleil and other modest enterprises). But now the stakes have increased as the spring season threatens to bust out all over. And so a few days ago, Weinstein Paulus & Co. presented three numbers from Finding Neverland to the press by way of introducing the origins-of-Peter-Pan show and its stars Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammer and Laura Michelle Kelly.
It wasn’t Kensington Gardens, but the view from a rehearsal studio overlooking Times Square offered charms of its own. Weinstein spoke of his three daughters’ love of the movie as the impetus behind his devotion to the Broadway adaptation, which has presented challenges any digital search will verify. I can say from long experience that musicals rarely look as appealing and heartfelt as they do on a bare rehearsal stage, with minimal props and actors in sweatpants and T-shirts, with nothing but a piano to accompany them. And that was certainly the case here. Everyone believes.