Cate Blanchett Will Make Her Broadway Debut In Chekhov Comedy

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh, who teamed up at New York’s City Center for a powerful revival of Uncle Vanya four years ago, will make their Broadway debuts next winter in The Present, a new version of another Chekhov play, Platonov, by Vanya adapter Andrew Upton. The Sydney Theatre Company production, which opened to wide acclaim last summer, is staged by John Crowley, whose film Brooklyn is up for three Oscars including Best Movie.

Sydney Theatre Co. will co-produce the limited run with Stuart Thompson. Theater, casting and specific dates will be announced later, the producers’ announcement stating only that the play will open in the early winter of 2016. Set and costumes will be by Alice Babidge, lighting by Nick Schlieper, and sound and music by Stefan Gregory.

An untitled play that’s been produced under various names — most famously Michael Frayn’s adaptation, Wild Honey, seen on Broadway in 1986 with Ian McKellen and Kathryn Walker in the leading roles — Upton’s adaptation is updated to the mid-1990s at, what else? an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). At the center is the acerbic and witty Platonov (Roxburgh) with his wife, former students, friends and their partners. Their comfortable poses soon give way deeper veins of regret, denial and desire.

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