Cate Blanchett’s Broadway Debut With Chekhovian ‘The Present’ Sets House & Cast

Cate Blanchett The Present Richard Roxburgh
Sydney Theatre Company

Cate Blanchett and company have rented a house for their Broadway debut next winter. Andrew Upton’s revisal of Anton Chekhov’s Platonov, also starring Richard Roxburgh, will begin previews December 17 at the Shubert Organization’s Barrymore Theatre, currently home to The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Opening night is slated for January 8, 2017, for a limited  engagement through March 19. Directed by John Crowley (Brooklyn), The Present will be produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Sydney Theatre Company, the latter of which produced the premiere last summer.

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 a 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 to deeper veins of regret, denial and desire.

The show will feature the Sydney cast, including Anna Bamford (Maria), Andrew Buchanan (Osip), David Downer (Yegor), Eamon Farren (Kirrill), Martin Jacobs (Alexei), Brandon McClelland (Dimitri), Jacqueline McKenzie (Sophia), Marshall Napier (Ivan), Susan Prior (Sasha), Chris Ryan (Sergei) and Toby Schmitz (Nikolai).

Set and costumes are by Alice Babidge; lighting by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is sound designer and composer.

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