In what appears to be a growing -- and in my opinion, welcome -- trend among London shows, the West End revival of La Bête is offering a promotional trailer (see below).
While La Bête (or "The Beast") is set to play its final performance at the West End's Comedy Theatre this coming Saturday, the entire production will cross the pond in time for Broadway previews to begin September 23. The transfer will open at the Music Box Theatre on October 14, 2010.
Tony winners David Hyde Pierce (Elomire) and Mark Rylance (Valere) headline Matthew Warchus' revival of David Hirson's contemporarily written satire about a French theatre troupe in 1654 and the compromises made in the name of art. Joanna Lumley of "Absolutely Fabulous" is set to make her Broadway debut as the troupe's benefactor Princess Conti.
As the official ticket vendor for the production, Telecharge touts La Bête as follows:
Every Broadway season, there is one ticket that you simply have to get. This season, that ticket is La Bête. Coming direct from a sold-out run in London, La Bête is already being hailed as an absolute must-see, with a once-in-a-lifetime cast giving performances to die for. Don’t miss this comic tour de force that boldly sinks its teeth into the debate over high art versus popular entertainment, and asks the age-old question, "For a play to sell out, does it have to be 'a sell-out?'"In addition to Pierce, Rylance and Lumley, the cast includes Lisa Joyce, Greta Lee, Robert Lonsdale, Deanne Lorette, Michael Milligan, Stephen Ouimette, Steve Routman, Liza Sadovy and Sally Wingert. While the extraordinary Wingert has been a welcome mainstay of countless productions at Minneapolis' Guthrie through the years, La Bête, incredibly enough, marks her Broadway debut.
Here is La Bête's promotional "sneak peek":
When La Bête was originally produced on Broadway in 1991, the short-lived comedy earned five Tony nominations, including for Dylan Baker (Prince Conty) and Tom McGowan (Valere). Michael Cumpstey portrayed Elomire in this very brief incarnation that enjoyed a mere 25 performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.
Can Warchus' magic strike twice in turning a less than successful play into a true must-see? With Rylance once again serving as Warchus' ace-in-the-hole, all bets suggests he can.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
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