Previews Begin for “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”

Tony Winners Janet McTeer and Liev Shreiber Star Opposite Each Other

Les Liaisons Dangereuses Starring Janet McTeer and Liev SchreiberThis past week, Les Liaisons Dangereuses began previews at the Booth Theatre.  The official opening night will take place on October 30, 2016, and the limited engagement is scheduled to run until January 22, 2017.  This show transfers to Broadway from the Donmar Warehouse in London, where a hit revival took place last winter to rave reviews.  This is the first time the show has received a major revival since it first premiered in this English adaptation by Christopher Hampton in 1986.  At that time, the show began in Stratford-upon-Avon in a Royal Shakespeare Company production, followed by a transfer to London at the Barbican Theatre, followed by the West End.  The show than had its Broadway premiere in 1987 at the Music Box Theatre, where Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan played the roles they had originated in London.  The play was then adapted to a film in 1988, also by Christopher Hampton.  More recently, a contemporary adaptation was made into the 1999 film Cruel Intentions starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, Selma Blair, and Sarah Michelle Geller.  This production is directed by Josie Rourke, who also directed the Donmar production.

Dangerous Liaisons for the Young, Wealthy, and Powerful

The show is based on a novel of the same name by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, which was written 1782.  The story follows a young woman, the Marquise de Merteuil (played by Janet McTeer), and a young man, the Vicomte de Valmont (played by Liev Schreiber), who are both rivals and sexual partners.  They two takes their schemes further when their attention is caught by a young woman, Cécile de Volanges (played by Elena Kampouris), who has fallen in love with her music teacher, a relation that would not be approved by her wealthy parents.  Merteuil and Valmont gain her trust by pretending to help her in her secret affair, only to entertain their own sick whimsies.  At the same time, Valmont has another game: he is trying to corrupt the virtuous, married Madame de Tourvel (played by Ora Jones), but to his own dismay, he ends up falling in love with her.  These tricks are full of juicy twists and turns that have lent their stories to many adaptations over the past few centuries, and in particular in the last few decades, due to their contemporary appeal.  The lead cast is rounded out by Mary Beth Peil, who plays Madame de Rosemonde, the aunt of Madame de Tourvel with whom she is staying during her visit.

A Promising First Preview Box Office

Thus far, only one performance has reported its box office figures for Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as the first week had only one preview according to the box office calendar cut-off.  In this one performance, the gross was $105,177, which represents 99.78% of the show’s gross potential.  With a top ticket price of $248.00, the average paid admission was $135.19, and the audience was filled up to exactly 100.0% of its gross potential.  This is an achievement indeed for a revival with a title in a foreign language.  While the first preview may not be evidence of continued success for the rest of the run, or even of the next week, it is a sign that at least within the Broadway industry, there is strong interest in this production.

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With over 20 years experience in the Broadway field, including show marketing, production, development and investment, Jennifer R Jones is an all-around subject-matter-expert in the Broadway business. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and her iMac and tries to see at least five Broadway shows per week and when time will allow, will sneak in a daytime TV production for fun.
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