Monday, June 30, 2008

Broadway Preview: Equus

Broadway Preview: Equus

Nearly 31 years after the one and only Broadway production of Equus opened at the Plymouth Theatre (now the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre), Peter Shaffer's disturbing play is set to commence its Rialto revival at the Broadhurst Theatre on September 5, with an opening scheduled for September 25.

What makes this staging of particular widespread interest is that a naked Daniel Radcliffe (yes, Harry Potter himself) will make his Broadway debut as Alan Strang, a psychotic young stable boy who finds sexual pleasure in blinding horses and riding them.

Radcliffe reprises the role he first took on across the pond in the early 2007, ahem, mounting in London. Thea Sharrock helms this transfer as she did in the West End, and Richard Griffiths will once again portray Strang's doctor, Martin Dysart. Additionally, it was announced just last week that Kate Mulgrew will join the cast as Hester Salomon.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play in 1975, the original Equus opened October 24, 1974 and ran for 1209 performances before closing on October 2, 1977. The play's original cast was nothing short of breathtaking, featuring such major theatrical names as Anthony Hopkins, Roberta Maxwell, Marian Seldes and Frances Sternhagen. Director John Dexter took home a Tony for Best Director, while Peter Firth was honored with a Tony for his portrayal of Strang.

When this revival of Equus opened at London's Gielgud Theatre in early 2007, critics were mixed in their assessments. But given the high profile status of Radcliffe, the show offered a box office bonanza.

Expect the same, plus perhaps a more mature Radcliffe when this transfer is finally trotted out for Broadway critics and audiences alike. While he'll bare his soul and everything else, just don't expect the young star to sign any autographs.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Broadway Preview: A Tale Of Two Cities (June 28, 2008)
Broadway Preview: for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (June 25, 2008)
Broadway Preview: [title of show] (June 24, 2008)
Broadway: What's Next (June 20, 2008)
Broadway Transfer For Equus Mounts In 2008 (April 20, 2007)

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At 01 July, 2008, Anonymous BroadwayBaby said...

This is one Broadway production I have to miss. Even though Radcliffe is an adult, he plays a teenager in the Harry Potter movies. I would feel like a dirty pedophile seeing him in the all natural. That and the casting of Kate Mulgrew, a one-note actress who should stick to television.

At 01 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

BB, I respectfully disagree with you on Mulgrew, whom I believe is a very good actress. But I do have the same queazy feeling about going to see a show where one of the main attractions will be the disrobing of a children's icon.

At 09 July, 2008, Blogger Alicia said...

EQUUS has been one of the most revered plays in our household. When I was growing up, my dad directed/starred in it TWICE. The first time was in small town PA, so the nude scene was toned town (the actors stripped only to the underwear). HOWEVER - when he did it in NYC, the space was far more intimate and the show was done with total nudity. Since I was 18 at the time, I remember blushing at the prospect of seeing the actors au naturale. I also remember how intense that scene was and how the last thing I was thinking about was the fact that he was nude. I hope that the Radcliffe/Griffiths production will have the same effect and that the ugly American in Broadway theatregoers stays at bay.

At 09 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Alicia, Thanks so much for sharing your personal insights and anecdotes.

I think we can trust Richard Griffiths to be superb. My concern is over Mr. Radcliffe.


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