FESTEN with Bryggman, Hayden, MacGraw and Margulies Begins Previews March 23 and Opens April 9 at Music Box Theatre

Bill Kenwright and Marla Rubin announce that they will present the Almeida Theatre production of FESTEN, the hugely successful London play about a family with a dark secret, on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre (239 W. 45th St.), with performances beginning Thursday, March 23. Larry Bryggman, Michael Hayden, Ali MacGraw and Julianna Margulies have been cast in the Broadway production. Directed by Rufus Norris, in a dramatization by David Eldridge from the Danish 1998 film, FESTEN will have its official press opening on Sunday, April 9.

In FESTEN, a beloved patriarch (Larry Bryggman), surrounded by his wife (Ali MacGraw), his daughter (Julianna Margulies), his two sons (Michael Hayden as Christian; casting for the role of Michael to be announced shortly) and a host of family and friends, is celebrating his 60th birthday at his country home. This promises to be a very special occasion, but as the evening progresses, the man's eldest son, Christian, feels compelled to break the silence surrounding a family secret. Standing to propose a toast, he offers his father - much to the delight of the guests - an amusing yet simple choice. And so the games begin. Revelations and accusations tumble across the dinner table, paving the way for a celebration that no one will ever forget.

In London, FESTEN received a rapturous reception from critics and audiences alike. Michael Billington in the Guardian called FESTEN, "a landmark play, as overwhelming as anything on the London stage." Susannah Clapp in the Observer said that the play was "dramatic dynamite, one of the most outstanding theatrical occasions of the year." Nicholas de Jongh in the Evening Standard said that FESTEN, "brings serious glory to the West End." Paul Taylor in the Independent called it, "phenomenally brilliant, and an embodiment of what theatre should be." And Victoria Segal of the London Sunday Times said, "FESTEN is a thrilling modern tragedy electrifying, shocking and profoundly moving. It crackles with pure theatrical energy."

In addition to Mr. Bryggman, Mr. Hayden, Ms. MacGraw, Ms. Margulies and the additional leading actor still to be announced, the cast of FESTEN will feature Diane Davis, Keith Davis, David Patrick Kelly, Stephen Kunken, Carrie Preston and C.J. Wilson, with additional ensemble members to be announced shortly.

The Almeida's original creative team for FESTEN, led by director Rufus Norris, will reassemble in New York to mount the play on Broadway. FESTEN features set design by Ian MacNeil (Billy Elliot, The Musical, An Inspector Calls), costume design by Joan Wadge, lighting by Jean Kalman, original music by Orlando Gough and sound design by Paul Arditti. As well as being nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards, Rufus Norris won the Evening Standard and Critic's Circle Awards for Best Director. Ian MacNeil, Jean Kalman and Paul Arditti won the Evening Standard Award for Best Design.

Thomas Vinterberg's Festen (or The Celebration, as it was called when released in the U.S.) is the modern movie classic that put the Danish film movement Dogme 95 on the cultural map. FESTEN, the dramatization by David Eldridge of the Dogme film and play by Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov and Bo Hr. Hansen, received its world premiere at London's Almeida Theatre in March 2004 in association with Marla Rubin. It was subsequently presented by Marla Rubin and Bill Kenwright at the Lyric Theatre in the West End.

FESTEN will begin previews at the Music Box Theatre, 239 West 45th Street, on March 23 and will have its official press opening on Sunday, April 9. The performance schedule will be, from March 23 April 9: Tuesdays at 7PM, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, with matinees on Wednesdays & Saturdays at 2 PM, Sundays at 3 PM; and then, after April 9: Mondays at 8 PM, Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, with matinees on Wednesdays & Saturdays at 2 PM. Tickets are $95-$75-$30, and will be available through Telecharge, 212-239-6200 or www.telecharge.com, beginning February 26 (please note: VISA cardholders can begin purchasing tickets on February 12). The Music Box Theatre box office will open on February 27.


Larry Bryggman was most recently seen on Broadway in 12 Angry Men. His other Broadway credits include Proof (Tony nomination), Picnic (Tony nomination), Prelude to a Kiss, Richard III with Al Pacino, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Ulysses in Nighttown. His off-Broadway credits include Henry IV, Parts I and II, Coriolanus, Macbeth (NYSF/Public Theater); Hothouse, Once in a Lifetime (Atlantic Theater Company); Proof, New England (Manhattan Theatre Club); Prelude and Liebestod (MCC); A Bad Friend and Bodies, Rest and Motion (Lincoln Center Theatre); and Roulette. His film credits include Spy Game, Die Hard With a Vengeance, And Justice for All, Looking for Richard, and My Side of the Story. Mr. Bryggman earned two Daytime Emmys for Best Actor on "As The World Turns."

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