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Tag: Celebs Off Broadway (1-2 of 2)

This Week on Stage: 'Disgraced' is anything but, Keira Knightley preps her Broadway debut

We were all hoping that the London production of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour would mark Keira Knightley’s Broadway debut (she got great reviews in 2011 starring opposite Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss), but we’ll take her however we can get her. Next fall, she will make her Broadway debut in Roundabout Theatre Company’s adaptation of the tragic novel Thérèse Raquin, continuing with Knightley’s affinity for period dramas. In other news, Big Brother standout Frankie J. Grande (the bro of another famous Grande, Ariana) will take on a supporting role in Rock of Ages for two months beginning Nov. 10 (not his first rodeo, though-he was famously in Mamma Mia! some years back) and the Shubert Organization, the titans who own most of the Broadway houses in NYC, announced a deal with super-producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan to produce new content for the stage. Which, given their involvement with lofty projects like (ahem) The Oscars means more big stars to keep those attendances on the Great White Way sky high. It was also a very busy week for the folks at EW, with six new Broadway and Off Broadway openings:  Josh Radnor and Gretchen Mol return to the stage after the wrap of their long-running TV shows, How I Met Your Mother and Boardwalk Empire (whose finale airs this weekend). A valued member of the Redgrave dynasty takes on a classic solo. And speaking of Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser goes all accent-y to capture the spirit of the late, great Billy Wilder (click on the links below for full reviews).

Disgraced  The 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Drama by Ayad Akhtar finally receives a Broadway berth courtesy of Lincoln Center (which first produced it in their black-box Off Broadway space), with new actors Josh Radnor and Gretchen Mol joining actors Hari Dhillon and Karen Pittman from previous productions. Senior editor Thom Geier feels the work hasn’t lost any of his luster, stating that “we get an engaging snapshot of the challenge for upwardly mobile Muslim Americans in the post-9/11 age…Akhtar packs a lot into his scenes, in terms of both coincidence-heavy personal drama and talky disquisitions on religion and politics, but he usually manages to pull back from the edge of too-muchness.” EW grade: B+

The Belle of Amherst  Nip/Tuck star Joely Richardson takes on one of the late Julie Harris’ most acclaimed roles, essaying Emily Dickinson, but did senior editor Adam Markovitz find her the Belle of the ball? “It’s easy to see why Richardson would be drawn to a revival…there’s nowhere to hide if it doesn’t work, no one to lean on if the energy flags. For Richardson, the gamble doesn’t quite pay off. During a recent performance, trudging through a few fumbled lines and what sounded like an ill-timed cold, the actress often gave the impression that she was marking out the play’s beats—laugh here, fall down crying there—without fully acting them.” EW grade: C READ FULL STORY

Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling to star in Off Broadway play this winter

Ahh, just what we’ve all been waiting for: Tyrion Lannister and Piper Chapman on stage together! It sounds like a TV lover’s dream mash-up to have Emmy darlings/hopefuls Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) matched together, but dream no more: The duo will topline the Classic Stage Company revival of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, beginning previews in January 2015.

The play—part of an already starry CSC 2014/15 season that also includes Peter Sarsgaard in Hamlet and Chris Noth in Doctor Faustus—concerns a young country wife named Natalya (Schilling) who becomes interested in the tutor of her young son, much to the chagrin of her good friend Rakitin (Dinklage), who is already taken with her. The production will mark the NYC stage debut of Schilling and offer up Dinklage’s first theater performance since 2007, when he appeared in the Ethan Hawke-directed play Things We Want. And it appears to be a family effort of sorts, as Month will be helmed by Dinklage’s wife, theater director Erica Schmidt (Humor Abuse).

Given the small environs of Off Broadway’s Classic Stage and its thrust setting, if you want the best chance to see these TV jailbirds in action, sooner is preferable to later. A Month in the Country begins previews at NYC’s Classic Stage Company on Jan. 9, 2015, with a limited engagement through February 15. For tickets and additional information, visit the company’s official website.

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