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PLAY OF THE DAY! Today's Play: THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA

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During this time when productions all over the world have been put on pause, we are coming together to celebrate plays that have left their mark on theater history.

This week we will be focusing on the plays of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tennessee Williams.

Today's play, The Night of the Iguana!

The Night of the Iguana premiered on Broadway in 1961 and was directed by Frank Corsaro. It starred Patrick O'Neal as Rev. Shannon, the legendary Bette Davis as Maxine, and Margaret Leighton as Hannah. Davis left the production after four months and was replaced by Shelley Winters. The play was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, and Margaret Leighton won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

The Night of the Iguana was revived on Broadway in 1976 and was directed by Joseph Hardy. The cast featured Richard Chamberlain (Rev. Shannon), Gary Tacon (Pedro), William Paulson (Pancho), Ben Van Vacter (Wolfgang), Jennifer Savidge (Hilda), John Rose (Herr Fahrenkopf), Amelia Laurenson (Frau Fahrenkopf), Matt Bennett (Hank), Barbara Caruso (Judith Fellows), Allison Argo (Charlotte Goodall), William Roerick (Nonno), Benjamin Stewart (Jake Latta), Dorothy McGuire (Hannah), and Sylvia Miles (Maxine).

The play was revived again on Broadway in 1988 and 1996.

It was staged in London in 1992 at the Royal National Theatre and starred Alfred Molina as Rev. Shannon and Eileen Atkins as Hannah. This production was directed by Richard Eyre. A 2005 London production at Lyric Theatre starred Woody Harrelson as Rev. Shannon, Clare Higgins as Maxine, and Jenny Seagrove as Hannah.


In 2017, the American Repertory Theater staged a production that starred James Earl Jones as Nonno, Amanda Plummer as Hannah, Dana Delany as Maxine, and Bill Heck as Rev. Shannon.


In 2019, it was staged in the West End at the Noël Coward Theatre starring Clive Owen as Rev. Shannon, Anna Gunn as Maxine, Lia Williams as Hannah, Julian Glover as Nonno and Finty Williams as Miss Fellowes.

The Night of the Iguana was made into a 1964 film directed by John Huston and starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr. The film won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Costume Design, and was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography. Grayson Hall received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Photo credit: Brinkhoff Moegenburg


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