Jessica Lange is no stranger to the London stage, having played both Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and Mary Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” Subject to signing, she will return to London in October to play Madame Ranyevskaya, the woman surrounded by her family and its (mis)fortunes who is forced to sell the family estate in Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.” Produced by Howard Panter at the Ambassadors Theater Group, the show is then scheduled to cross over to Broadway.
Chekhov’s final play is regarded by many as not only the playwright’s finest but as one of the greatest of the 20th century. A new translation has been specially commissioned from an as-yet-undisclosed playwright.
The other hot name attached, and the reason for Lange’s involvement, is that of the director, 2006 Tony winner John Doyle. Known solely to American audiences for his work with actor-musicians on the Sondheim musicals “Sweeney Todd” and “Company,” Doyle owns an extensive resume that includes many nonmusical works.