Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Broadway Preview: Mary Stuart

Broadway Preview: Mary Stuart

After getting wind yesterday that acclaimed British actress Janet McTeer would be returning to Broadway for her first time since earning a Tony Award for Best Actress in 1997 for her turn as Norma Helmer in A Doll's House, I couldn't help but think, "How wonderful that she'll be reprising the her absolutely brilliant portrayal of Véronique Vallon stateside in God Of Carnage."

Yes, McTeer is coming to the Great White Way in Spring 2009, and she will be reprising a West End role. But it won't be in God Of Carnage. Yet.

According to Variety, McTeer's Rialto return will be as Mary Queen of Scots. She'll be starring in a transfer of Donmar Warehouse's 2005-06 hit revival of German playwright Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart. Harriet Walter, whose only Main Stem credit came 25 years ago in a revival of All's Well that Ends Well, will reprise her West End portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I. Peter Oswald's adaptation of Mary Stuart will be directed by Phyllida Lloyd of Mamma Mia! fame.

Now perhaps it's because Americans aren't as engaged in British history as, oh, say the rest of the world, but Mary Stuart has only seen two previous Rialto incarnations.

The first came in 1900 at the Fifth Avenue Theatre when it played in repertory with Macbeth, Marie Antoinette, Much Ado About Nothing, The Ladies' Battle and Twelfth Night.

The next revival of the work wouldn't come for another 71 years, when Mary Stuart was produced at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre in late 1971. Clocking in at a mere 44 performances, the Jules Irving-helmed play pitted Salome Jens' Mary versus Nancy Marchand's Elizabeth, and featured Philip Bosco as Robert Dudley.

While you might think that they'd stage this new adaptation of Schiller's Mary Stuart at one of Broadway's not-for-profit venues, it will instead be housed in one of the commercial theatres owned by the Shubert Organization.

Whether New York audiences will enjoy rediscovering Mary Stuart is a big question mark. Yet given the renewed thirst for royal entertainment, thanks in part to Cate Blanchett's breathtaking turns as the first Queen Elizabeth, as well as Showtimes' "The Tudors," the time might very well be as right as can be. And the opportunity to see McTeer should be worth the ticket itself.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
Broadway Preview: The American Plan (July 14, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Shrek The Musical (July 13, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Waiting For Godot (July 12, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Pal Joey (July 11, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Dividing The Estate (July 10, 2008)
Broadway Preview: 13 (July 9, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Speed-The-Plow (July 8, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Billy Elliot - The Musical (July 7, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Godspell (July 6, 2008)
Broadway Preview: All My Sons (July 5, 2008)
Broadway Preview: A Man For All Seasons (July 3, 2008)
Broadway Preview: To Be Or Not To Be (July 2, 2008)
Broadway Preview: The Seagull (July 1, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Equus (June 30, 2008)
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)
God Of Carnage (The SOB Review) (May 2, 2008)

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At 15 July, 2008, Anonymous chris caggiano said...

Steve, did you see McTeer in Doll's house? She was off the chart, dawg. It may be the single best performance I've ever seen. I can't wait to see her in MS, and you know how u am about non-musicals.

Then again, I already have tickets for All My Sons, Equus, Man for All Seasons, and Hedda Gabler. And I fully expect to see Seagull, To Be or Not to Be, and for colored girls as well.

Maybe I should change the name of my blog, huh?

At 15 July, 2008, Blogger Interval Drinks said...

Not just McTeer but the wonderful Harriet Walter too. This is a powerful production starring two superb actresses - and it rains on stage, which is always cool in my book!

At 15 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Chris, You ARE becoming quite the playgoer! I knew you had it in you.

Wish I had seen McTeer in Doll's House. But I was so blown away by her performance in God Of Carnage that I'm going to make every effort to see her in this.

At 15 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Interval Drinks, I confess to not knowing much about Harriet Walter, but appreciate your hearty endorsement. Makes me look forward to this show all the more!


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