Dark comedy makes Gotham preem in April
Boyett Ostar and Robert Fox will bring Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman” to Broadway. Opening night is April 20 at the Booth Theater, with previews beginning March 21.
Billy Crudup, Jeff Goldblum, Zeljko Ivanek and Michael Stuhlbarg headline under the direction of John Crowley.
McDonagh’s dark comedy tells the story of a fiction writer (Crudup) living in a totalitarian state who is questioned by two interrogators (Goldblum and Ivanek); they believe the gruesome content of his short stories derives from a number of bizarre crimes. “The Pillowman” had its world premiere at the Royal National Theater in London on Nov. 13, 2003.
Two of McDonagh’s previous plays, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” and “The Lonesome West,” have been presented on Broadway. A third, “A Skull in Connemara,” completes his “Connemara Trilogy.”
On the awards front, “The Pillowman” and Michael Frayn’s “Democracy,” which opened Nov. 18 on Broadway, will most likely find themselves in competition again at Tony time. In London, they competed for the Olivier Awards’ play prize, which “The Pillowman” won.
Bob Boyett and Bill Haber of Boyett Ostar Prods. are also lead producers on the Frayn play in Gotham. Their initial National Theater offering, “Jumpers,” opened last season on Broadway. The Tom Stoppard revival was not a B.O. winner for the producers, having failed to finish out its limited engagement. Despite upbeat reviews, it closed in July after fewer than 100 perfs.
“Democracy,” on the other hand, looks to have found an audience, at least initially. The day after its Nov. 18 preem, it sold $210,000 in tickets. Last week, it grossed $428,179 — a $72,067 gain over the previous session.
The creative team on “The Pillowman” includes scenic and costume designer Scott Pask, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone, sound designer Paul Arditti and composer Paddy Cunneen.