Cate Blanchett tackles a different stage for the first time in her acting career.
The Oscar-nominated actress will be gracing the Broadway stage for the first time in a play based on a story written by Anton Chekhov. The critically acclaimed actress has been in an off-Broadway play called “Uncle Vanya”, another Chekhov story. In both plays she is casted opposite of Australian actor Richard Roxburgh.
The story is based in the mid-1990s and tells the tale of a Russian widow celebrating her 40th birthday with her friends. Bringing the friends together is an “acerbic, womanizing school teacher” Mikhail Platonov, played by Roxburgh. Although his character is married, tensions begin to boil between Platonov and Anna Petrovna (Blanchett) which releases pent up problems between the two. The play is an adaptation of one of Chekhov’s lesser-known plays, called “Platonov”, but unlike many other Chekhov stories this one incorporates more humor than drama. The play has been adapted and retitled many times, and has won awards, Sir Ian McKellan won for best actor, and many other actors have done different productions of it on Broadway. The orginial manuscript that Chekhov wrote was discarded and locked in a vault until later discovered. Andrew Upton now joins many others in adapting the original manuscript.
John Crowley, director of the Oscar nominated “Brooklyn”, will be directing the play and has directed three others. The adaption is called “The Present”, and Andrew Upton, who is also Blanchett’s husband, wrote this critically acclaimed play in 2015. The two have worked together previously as artistic directors for the Sydney Theater Company, which is the company taking the play to Broadway. The two were directors for the company for five years of the six years Upton worked with the company. As of recently Upton was also involved in Blanchett’s Oscar nominated “Carol” as executive producer. He had chosen to leave the company due to his family moving from Sydney, Australia to New York. Blanchett has other stage experience, having starred in other plays, and brought many plays back to America, but will be hers and Roxburgh’s first time on Broadway.
No opening dates have been set for the production, however it is stated to be late in the season or later in 2016.