Diane Lane and Joel Gray Star in Anton Chekhov Revival
On September 15, 2016, The Cherry Orchard began previews at the American Airlines Theatre in a Roundabout Theatre Company production. Written in 1904 by Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard is one of the great Russian writers’ most beloved works. This adaptation was written by Stephen Karam, a Roundabout favorite whose other works include The Humans, Speech and Debate, and Sons of the Prophet. The role of Ranevskaya, Lyubov Andreyevna is played by Diane Lane, a star best known for films such as Unfaithful, The Outsiders, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Trumbo. Furthermore, Lane was last seen on Broadway in the 1977 production of The Cherry Orchard, in which she played a child in the ensemble – therefore, she is coming full circle with this production after many years of an outstanding career. In addition, the role of Firs is played by Joel Gray, who is well known for playing the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret, in both the 1969 and 1987 productions, as well as for his roles in Anything Goes, Wicked, and Chicago. Furthermore, the cast includes many other incredible performers. The role of Anya is played by Tavi Gevinson (This Is Our Youth, The Crucible), the role of Simeonov-Pischik, Boris Borisovich is played by Chuck Cooper (Amazing Grace, Act One), the role of Gaev, Leonid Andreyevich is played by John Glover (Macbeth, Death of a Salesman), and the role of Trofimov, Pyotr Sergeyevich is played by Kyle Beltran (In the Heights).
This revival, presently underway at the American Airlines Theatre, will officially open on October 16, 2016. It is schedule to run until the closing date of December 4, 2016. The director is Simon Godwin, who is making his Broadway directorial debut with this production following several acclaimed outings at the National Theatre in London. The movement is by Jonathan Goddard, the magic consultant is Paul Kieve, the scenic design is by Scott Pask, the costume design is by Michael Krass, and the lighting design is by Donald Holder. Set at the turn of the 20th century, the play deals with an aristocratic Russian actress who comes home to her family’s estate just in time to pay the mortgage before it is auctioned off. However, her efforts are thwarted and the son of a serf ends up purchasing the property. The show is a commentary on the rise of the middle class and the futility of the upper class to maintain its power, as well as the end of serfdom. Beyond this, it is a commentary on materialism and the lack of happiness that it brings. While it can seem to be progress for the middle class to take over the upper class, ultimately the downfall is the same. The Cherry Orchard is a brilliant work of classical theatre that is sure to be a magnificent production in the hands of such great talents as Stephen Karam, Diane Lane, Joel Gray, John Glover, and Tavi Gevinson.
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