Christian Slater has replaced Dallas Roberts in the upcoming Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie,” starring Jessica Lange.
Producer Bill Kenwright did not give a reason for the last-minute switch — the show begins previews Thursday — but it appears Roberts is a casualty of the usual creative differences.
According to sources close to the production, Roberts was pursuing a “radically different approach” to the character of Tom, who often is read as a stand-in for playwright Tennessee Williams. Last month, director David Leveaux told Daily Variety Roberts was capable of conveying “sexual ambiguity” onstage.
Roberts is known as a consummate professional in the legit community. Earlier this season, he received rave notices for his perf in Caryl Churchill’s “A Number” at New York Theater Workshop, where he performed opposite Lange’s husband, Sam Shepard.
In his statement, Kenwright said Joey Collins would perform the role of Tom “until Mr. Slater plays his first performance.” The date of that perf has not been determined. A spokesman said the show’s March 15 opening date remained in place.
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Sarah Paulson and Josh Lucas round out the “Glass Menagerie” cast.
Slater recently concluded a West End run in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and is expected to return to London in August as Chance Wayne in Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” (Daily Variety, Feb. 2).
Slater made his Broadway debut in 1980, playing Winthrop in a short-lived revival of “The Music Man,” and last appeared on Broadway in “Sideman” in 1999.