NEW YORK — Angela Bassett, known for her star turn as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” will tackle an even more formidable character when she portrays Lady Macbeth opposite Alec Baldwin Off Broadway in February.
Bassett’s casting in “Macbeth” was confirmed by the New York Shakespeare Festival Wednesday, although the actress’ spokeswoman said a deal had not yet been inked — information that apparently was news to Baldwin, who made the nationwide casting announcement earlier in the day on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Baldwin’s gun-jumping also had NYSF publicists busy. Although the actor said he and Bassett would go directly to Broadway, a spokeswoman for the NYSF insisted that “Macbeth” will begin performances at the NYSF’s Joseph Papp Public Theater Off Broadway on Feb. 17. A subsequent Broadway transfer would depend on the stars’ schedules, she said.
But given the star power — not to mention Baldwin’s apparent enthusiasm — a Broadway run seems likely. Negotiations (if not an actual signing) with Bassett’s reps — manager Doug Chapin and ICM agents Ed Limato and George Freeman — apparently were resolved late last week. Sources said the postponement of a possible movie project with Sean Connery opened up the schedule of the actress, who also appeared in the film “Waiting to Exhale.”
As previously reported, “Macbeth” will be directed by NYSF/Public producer George C. Wolfe.