sat 20/07/2024

Jerusalem: next stop Broadway - but when? | reviews, news & interviews

Jerusalem: next stop Broadway - but when?

Jerusalem: next stop Broadway - but when?

Jerusalem bound for Broadway...

Jerusalem was bound for Broadway from virtually the moment the raves poured in for Jez Butterworth's career-best play and leading man Mark Rylance's career-defining star performance.  So why isn't Ian Rickson's glorious production headed to New York the minute the curtain comes down on its 12-week West End run, which opens Wednesday at the Apollo?

It turns out that Rylance is intending an interim London and New York booking in the form of a hoped-for revival of American writer David Hirson's verse play, La Bête, which was a Broadway flop the first time round, in 1991. (Its co-producer then was a certain Andrew Lloyd Webber.) Look for Broadway's reigning British director, Matthew Warchus, to oversee this production in both capitals, following his collaboration with Rylance on Boeing-Boeing, Rylance's Broadway debut, for which the actor won a Tony. The pair's previous collaborations include True West at the Donmar and a West End Much Ado About Nothing, in which Rylance played Benedict.

Once La Bête is out of the way, Jerusalem looks poised to cross the Atlantic, ie in late-spring 2011, or thereabouts, if current plans bear fruit. Given the accolades that Rylance's bravura occupancy of Johnny Byron has already brought him, perhaps the Best Actor Tony should be permanently renamed for Rylance?

In the meantime, British plays and productions are already circling New York waiting to land as the spring season in New York comes into focus. At the moment, look for the race for the Best Play Tony to include two titles well-known to London playgoers: Enron and Red, both of which are headed to Broadway in the next month or two. And the winner is...?

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