Tom Stoppard's ARCADIA to play on Broadway

Date posted: Tuesday 4 January 2011

ARCADIA, Tom Stoppard’s “dazzling masterpiece, a piece of theatrical heaven” (The Daily Telegraph), will return to New York this spring for a limited engagement in an acclaimed new production directed by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux. ARCADIA arrives on Broadway from the West End where this production became an instant sold out hit in 2009 and was deemed “Stoppard’s most brilliant play” (The Observer), “one of the most exquisite plays of the 20th century” (The Independent), and “sexy, sophisticated, and killingly funny.” (The Evening Standard).

The Broadway cast will include Margaret Colin, Billy Crudup, Raúl Esparza, Glenn Fleshler, Grace Gummer, Edward James Hyland, Byron Jennings, Bel Powley, Tom Riley, Noah Robbins, David Turner and Lia Williams.

ARCADIA will begin previews at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) on Friday, February 25, 2011 with an opening night set for Thursday, March 17, 2011. Tickets for this limited engagement are on sale through Sunday, June 19, 2011. Tickets are on sale now online at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

In a statement, playwright Tom Stoppard said, “Since its first production in 1993, ARCADIA has become the play of mine which has been done the most in the U.S., so I’m really delighted that it’s coming back to New York. David Leveaux and I have had very good experiences on Broadway with Jumpers and The Real Thing, so I’m especially pleased that ARCADIA is returning under his direction.”

Billy Crudup, who received a 2007 Tony Award for his performance in Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia, made his Broadway debut in the 1995 production of ARCADIA, in the role of ‘Septimus Hodge.’ In this upcoming production, he will play ‘Bernard Nightingale.’ Crudup also received Tony nominations for his work in The Pillowman (2005), and The Elephant Man (2002). Raúl Esparza (Valentine Coverly) has received four Tony Award nominations for starring roles on Broadway in Speed the Plow (2009), The Homecoming (2008), Company (2007) and Taboo (2004). Lia Williams (Hannah Jarvis) made her Broadway debut in David Hare’s Skylight for which she received a 1997 Tony Award nomination (and an Olivier Award nomination in London).

Bel Powley, Tom Riley, and Lia Williams are appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

David Leveaux’s previous collaborations with Tom Stoppard include the Tony Award-winning revival of The Real Thing (which also played at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway) and the Tony-nominated revival of Jumpers. For both productions, he received Tony Award nominations for his direction. He also received Tony nominations for his direction of Nine, Anna Christie, and A Moon for the Misbegotten.

ARCADIA is produced on Broadway by Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Stephanie P. McClelland, Scott M. Delman, Robert G. Bartner, Olympus Theatricals and Doug Smith.

ARCADIA is set in April 1809 in a stately home in Derbyshire. Thomasina, a gifted pupil, proposes a startling theory, beyond her comprehension. All around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are preoccupied with secret desires, illicit passions and professional rivalries. Two hundred years later, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard (Lia Williams and Billy Crudup) are piecing together puzzling clues, curiously recalling those events of 1809, in their quest for an increasingly elusive truth.

The creative team for ARCADIA will be announced at a later date.

ARCADIA performance schedule: Monday through Saturday at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday 2pm through March 20, 2011. Beginning the week of March 21, performances are Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday at 2pm & 8pm, Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm and Sunday at 3pm.

ARCADIA premiered in London in 1993 and was instantly proclaimed a modern masterpiece. Writing about the play for the 1995 Broadway premiere Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, “There's no doubt about it. ARCADIA is Tom Stoppard's richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and, new for him, emotion. It's like a dream of levitation: you're instantaneously aloft, soaring, banking, doing loop-the-loops and then, when you think you're about to plummet to earth, swooping to a gentle touchdown of not easily described sweetness and sorrow.”

The many awards ARCADIA has received include the Olivier Award and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play.

When ARCADIA opened at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End last year, London critics hailed Stoppard’s play and Leveaux’ direction. Here’s a sampling of what critics said:

“David Leveaux’s luscious revival of the Tom Stoppard play ARCADIA is an instant classic. Playgoers should be kept spinning for some months to come.”
-- Matt Wolf, The New York Times Online

“Tom Stoppard's ARCADIA is that rare thing: entertainment that thrills. A feast of ideas that is sexy, sophisticated, and killingly funny. Leveaux’s assured revival confirms this is Stoppard’s finest play.”
-- Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard

“Tom Stoppard’s dazzling masterpiece, ARCADIA , is a glimpse of theatrical heaven. A poignant play with humor, wit and elegance that is much more than a comedy. It is a literary detective story, a play that fills you with enthusiasm. David Leveaux directs a sharp, lucid production that is about transience and loss, as well as love and laughter.”
-- Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph


“David Leveaux's delicious production of Stoppard’s most brilliant play delivers clarity, and considerable thoughtfulness, amid the zinging repartee and sexual farce.
-- Emma John, The Observer

ARCADIA is one of Stoppard’s undisputed masterpieces. Leveaux’s poignant and touching revival gives pure uncomplicated pleasure on so many complicated matters.”
-- Michael Coveney, The Independent

ARCADIA gets richer with each viewing. You can’t ask for more in a play. Leveaux's excellent revival reminds us there is an abundance of cleverness, wit, poetry and passion in this moving and intriguing play.”
-- Michael Billington, The Guardian

(out of five stars)”
-- Caroline McGinn, Time Out London