LONDON — Vanessa Redgrave is poised to make her first Broadway appearance since 1989 if negotiations pan out to transfer the recent Royal National Theater production of “The Cherry Orchard” to the Great White Way.
Producer Carole Shorenstein Hays is in talks to open the Chekhov revival on Broadway in November or December, to be directed in New York — as it was at the National — by Trevor Nunn, the theater’s a.d. The aim is for a 20-week Gotham run preceded by a monthlong stand at the Curran Theater in San Francisco, Shorenstein Hays’ home city.
“I just feel it’s got to be done and that’s that,” says Shorenstein Hays, who is partnering with Manny Kladitis on a venture expected to cost around $2 million.
Nunn’s staging, she said, “is what is done so meticulously in England — breathing life into the classics that we don’t necessarily know as well. We just don’t have that heritage.”
The producer is in discussions to have the entire National Theater company brought over, which in turn would enable Nunn to re-rehearse the play in London so as not to take undue time away from his ongoing National chores.
If the transfer does take place, it will signal a busy Broadway season for Nunn, whose acclaimed revival of “Oklahoma!” is back on track to reach Broadway’s Gershwin Theater next spring, produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
Now 64, Redgrave last appeared on Broadway in 1989 in Tennessee Williams’ “Orpheus Descending” and subsequently had an acclaimed run Off Broadway opposite Eileen Atkins in “Vita and Virginia.”