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Jeff Goldblum to star in The Prisoner Of Second Avenue

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Jeff Goldblum appeared at The Old Vic in the Spring of 2008 in Matthew Warchus’ critically acclaimed production of David Mamet’s Speed the Plow, co-starring Old Vic Artistic Director, Kevin Spacey.

Kevin Spacey commented: “This is such an exciting development for The Old Vic and brings so many strong relationships together. First, to stage a production in the West End, taking our work to a new space and connecting with a wider audience. Second, I have long wanted to present a Neil Simon play in London. I adore his writing and we’ve had a great relationship over the years. Third, I will be delighted to welcome Jeff Goldblum back to London. We had such a great experience together in Speed the Plow and I couldn’t be happier that he’s going to appear in this remarkable play. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Sonia Friedman again after our great success together with the Norman Conquests in New York. With Sam Mendes’ Bridge Project back at The Old Vic from June theatregoers are in for a great summer of Old Vic shows.”

Jeff Goldblum said "I'm so grateful and thrilled about being back in London on the stage. My recent experience at The Old Vic was the best time I've ever had. To work with Kevin Spacey, my friend and a true genius, will be delicious. I’m also excited to be back with the entire group at The Old Vic -- a sterling, nourishing and gorgeous family. And how delightful to be working with Terry Johnson. I've been in love with Neil Simon's work my whole life. He's not only a comic genius, as everyone knows, but sage in matters of the soul as well.”

Set in the 1970's, The Prisoner of Second Avenue is a black comedy depicting a New York couple, Mel (Jeff Goldblum) and Edna Edison, enduring the trials and tribulations of city life. Mel is made redundant and the stress of an economic crisis and urban life pushes him into having a nervous breakdown. The family gathers to offer support, with Edna stoically bearing the burden of his disintegration and self-pity.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue originally premiered on Broadway in 1971, starring Peter Falk and Lee Grant, where it ran for two years and received a Tony Award nomination. It was subsequently made into a film in 1975, starring Jack Lemmon and Anne Bankcroft.

Neil Simon is the winner of three Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, the Mark Twain Award for American Humor and was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor in 1995. His plays include Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, California Suite, Chapter Two, Lost in Yonkers, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Dinner Party and books for the musicals for Little Me, Sweet Charity (currently playing in the West End), Promises Promises (currently on Broadway), They're Playing Our Song and The Goodbye Girl.

Jeff Goldblum plays Mel. Recent theatre includes Speed the Plow at The Old Vic, The Pillowman on Broadway (Outer Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Critics’ Award, nominations for Drama Desk and Drama League Awards). Films include Fay Grim, The Life Aquatic, Igby Goes Down, California Split, Nashville, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Prince of Egypt, Powder, Mr Frost, Annie Hall, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Fly, Deep Cover, The Right Stuff, Between The Lines, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Into the Night, Next Stop - Greenwich Village, The Tall Guy, and Adam Resurrected. Jeff was nominated for an Academy Award for directing the live-action short film Little Surprises, was nominated for an Emmy Award for his television appearance on Will and Grace, and served on the jury of the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.

Terry Johnson is a multi-award winning playwright and director and is also Literary Associate at the Royal Court Theatre. He has been honoured with ten major British Theatre awards, including two Olivier Awards and two Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Terry’s production of La Cage aux Folles on Broadway has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards including Best Direction of a Musical and Best Revival of a Musical and he has just won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Terry’s recent West End productions include: La Cage aux Folles, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, End of the Rainbow, Rain Man, Whipping It Up, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Hitchcock Blonde, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, The Graduate, Dead Funny, Hysteria, Elton John's Glasses and The Memory of Water. He has worked with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, directing John Malkovich in The Libertine (nominated for five Jeff Awards, including Best Production) and Lost Land, both plays by Stephen Jeffries. He has written and directed for international television, most recently The Man Who Lost His Head for ITV and Not Only But Always for Channel Four, which won five International Award nominations, Best Film at Banff and a BAFTA for Rhys Ifans.

The Prisioner of Second Avenue is produced in the West End by The Old Vic Theatre Company/Old Vic Productions plc and Sonia Friedman Productions.

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