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Broadway production of Democracy goes into rehearsal

The Broadway cast of DEMOCRACY by Michael Frayn, went into rehearsal today under the direction of Michael Blakemore.

In an unusual practice for a Broadway production, the entire rehearsal process will take place in the theatre's Broadway home, the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, on Peter J. Davison's unique, two-tiered set, which has already been loaded in.

The London production of DEMOCRACY originally opened last year to rave reviews at The National Theatre of Great Britain. The play went on to win the the 2003 Evening Standard Award for Best Play, the 2003 Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, and the 2003 South Bank Award for Best Play.

The Broadway production of DEMOCRACY reunites Michael Frayn and Michael Blakemore for the first time since Copenhagen, the 2000 Tony® Award winner for Best Play and Best Director. It is their eighth collaboration together. Frayn was not present for the first rehearsal of the Broadway production of DEMOCRACY as he was catching the premiere of DEMOCRACY - in Copenhagen.

DEMOCRACY opens November 18th. Previews begin November 3rd.

DEMOCRACY is an exhilarating mix of Cold War spy thriller, political shell game and drama about human nature and identity. The play follows the astonishing career of Willy Brandt (James Naughton), the first left-of-center chancellor in West Germany in 40 years, and his downfall at the hands of his trusted assistant, Günter Guillaume (Richard Thomas), who is secretly spying on Brandt for the notorious East German Stasi. The play examines Guillaume's dual identity, as his duty to Brandt's enemies conflicts with his genuine love and admiration for his prey.

The production also stars Robert Prosky as Herbert Wehner and Michael Cumpsty as Arno Kretschmann, with Terry Beaver as Reinhard Wilke, John Dossett as Helmut Schmidt, Julian Gamble as Ulrich Bauhaus, John Christopher Jones as Hans-Dietrich Genscher , Richard Masur as Horst Ehmke) and Lee Wilkof as Günther Nollau.

Set design is by Peter J. Davison, costume design by Sue Wilmington, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Neil Alexander.

DEMOCRACY is produced by Boyett/Ostar Productions, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Jean Doumanian, Stephanie McClelland, Arielle Tepper, Amy Nederlander, Eric Falkenstein and Roy Furman.

Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM. Box office opens Monday, October 11th. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or at 212: 307-4100.

DEMOCRACY trivia:

- DEMOCRACY is Michael Blakemore's fourth production at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. His previous productions that have played the house include the original production of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1968), and two plays by Michael Frayn: Noises Off (1983) and Benefactors (1985).

- DEMOCRACY star Richard Thomas appeared at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre at the age of 14 in The Playroom. Cast mates Lee Wilkof (She Loves Me) and Julian Gamble (The Iceman Cometh, Jumpers) have also appeared in productions at the theatre.

- DEMOCRACY star James Naughton received the first of his two Tony® Awards for City of Angels, directed by Michael Blakemore.

- DEMOCRACY star Michael Cumpsty appeared in the previous Frayn/Blakemore Broadway production, Copenhagen, in which he played Werner Heisenberg.

- DEMOCRACY marks the first Broadway appearance by Richard Masur in over 30 years, since starring in The Changing Room in 1973. In addition to his extensive film and television credits, Masur recently served two terms as the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1995 to 1999.

Visit DEMOCRACY online at www.ntny.org


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