Sunday, October 15, 2006

Nothing to see here, officer

These are not vids of the Lasting Impressions and An Impromptu Walkabout extras from the Pride and Prejudice boxset. And these are not the direct links to said videos (rather large filesize). Perish the thought.

And here's the full text* of the NYT article on The Coast of Utopia mentioned below. Quotage from Ms Ehle:

As each actor agreed, others followed. Mr. O’Brien got just about everyone he asked for, including Billy Crudup, Martha Plimpton, David Harbour, Richard Easton, Josh Hamilton and Jennifer Ehle, who is playing three different roles in the plays. (“At first, until I saw the schedule,” she said, “I thought that it was really inconceivable that I could do this.”) [more]

Philip Boroff of Bloomberg previews Voyage:

Previews begin next week at the Vivian Beaumont for the first installment of Tom Stoppard's "The Coast of Utopia," a prestige Broadway production with this season's most daunting running time.

The trilogy, 8 1/2 hours in all, has a cast of 44, including Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke, Brian F. O'Byrne and Amy Irving. The director is Jack O'Brien, an experienced Stoppard hand who also staged "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Henry IV."

The three parts cover three decades in the lives of Russian intellectuals and philosophers, including Vissarion Belinsky (Crudup), Alexander Herzen (O'Byrne), Michael Bakunin (Hawke), and Ivan Turgenev (Jason Butler Harner).

Bernard Gersten, Lincoln Center Theater's executive producer, promises that the plays are accessible.

"It's about real Russian people," he said in an interview. "We hope they spring to vivid life."

"Utopia" was first mounted in 2002 at London's National Theatre. Stoppard was still writing part three, "Salvage," as director Trevor Nunn staged part one, "Voyage." O'Brien, who previously staged Lincoln Center Theater's brilliant productions of Stoppard's "Hapgood" and "The Invention of Love," -- was in the audience.

"I felt that I was seeing this great, awkward, monster novel drunkenly move across the stage," he said in an interview posted on Lincoln Center Theater's Web site. "No one knew what they had birthed until long after the event was over."

Stoppard has since trimmed and tinkered with the trilogy. "It's like a loaf of bread that has had time to rise," Gersten said. "We assume it will work to the benefit of the play."

Broadway has not always been hospitable to serious plays of late, and so those in search of them have already bought up most of the good seats for `Utopia.' There are about 27,000 tickets left for the three shows, almost a quarter of the total.

Yet even if every seat sells, the company expects to lose about $7 million on the three-part production. Gersten said it's art for art's sake...and, if all goes well, art for Tonys' sake, too.

"You win awards, you take pride" he said. "The board is proud. The actors are proud. Everything isn't measured in money."

Yowser, who knew non-profit was literal. Also, there's a newly minted Coast of Utopia Livejournal community, with a few wallpapers based on the Vanity Fair photo.

At eBay, a couple of interesting items: an agency headshot from Paradise Road and The Real Thing Playbill autographed by both Jennifer Ehle and Stephen Dillane.

*PS. Here's the legal version of the NYT article.

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