Blair Brown, whose credits range from Orange Is The New Black to her Tony Award-winning performance in Copenhagen and the title role in the seminal TV series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, has signed on with Uma Thurman and Josh Lucas to co-star in Beau Willimon‘s The Parisian Woman. The political drama from the House of Cards creator, staged by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon, is slated to open November 30 on Broadway at a theater yet to be announced. Additional casting, design team, and preview dates also will be announced later.
Set in Washington after the 2016 election, the Parisian woman is Chloe (Thurman), a mover and shaker in political circles determined to get her husband a judgeship. Brown will play Jeanette Simpson, the soon-to-be Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, nominated by the President. She’s a formidable power-player with a taste for mischief. She’s also eager to befriend Chloe, who gives her respite from the rat race.
Willimon said Tuesday that The Parisian Woman has gone through significant rewrites since its 2013 premiere at South Coast Repertory.
“After the 2016 election I felt the need to completely rework the play,” says Willimon. “The core remains the same, but given its setting and milieu, there was an opportunity to address our current political landscape through Chloe’s lens. To put a sharper edge on her journey. It’s a different play than the version Pam MacKinnon and I originally put on stage. One of the things I love about the theater is that you can respond to the present moment in real time. We’re excited to take on that challenge.”
Willimon’s inspiration for The Parisian Woman came from French dramatist Henri Becque’s controversial play, La Parisienne, which debuted in Paris in 1885. The show is produced on Broadway by Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, and Steve Traxler.
Broadway has seen two riffs on the Peter Pan story in recent seasons (Peter and the Starcatcher; Finding Neverland) and regularly hosts revivals of the musical. Now the celebrated troupe Bedlam will bring the Ur-text – J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play about the Darling children and their surprise home-invader – to off-Broadway for a limited run this fall.
Staged by company artistic director Eric Tucker, the 47-performance run at The Duke on 42nd Street will begin November 11 and continue through December 23, 2017. Opening night is November 19.
Starring company members Kelley Curran, Edmund Lewis, Susannah Millonzi, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Tucker, a cast of six will play Barrie’s 25 characters including pirates, the lost boys, and “Indians” along with Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook.
“Peter Pan feels like the perfect play for Bedlam because J.M. Barrie’s dry wit and humor provide for so many thrilling possibilities for invention,” said Tucker, whose Bedlam adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility won plaudits.