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WAITING FOR GODOT With Lane and Irwin To Open at Roundabout Theatre 4/30

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) has announced Tony® award winners Bill Irwin as “Vladimir” and Nathan Lane as “Estragon” in a new Broadway production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and directed by Tony award winner Anthony Page.
Waiting for Godot will begin previews on Friday, April 10th, 2009 and open officially on Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at Studio 54 on Broadway (254 West 54th Street). This will be a limited engagement.
Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’ previously announced for May 2009 will now be part of the 2009-2010 Roundabout season.
Additional cast members and the design team for Waiting for Godot will be announced shortly.
Waiting for Godot remains Samuel Beckett’s most magical and beautiful allegory.  The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone – or something – named Godot.  Vladimir (Bill Irwin) and Estragon (Nathan Lane) wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, inhabiting a drama spun from their own consciousness.  The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning.
Tony® Award winner Bill Irwin returns to Roundabout Theatre Company for the first time since directing and starring in his adaptation of Scapin in1997 and directing George Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear in 1998, both at the Laura Pels Theatre.  Two-time Tony® Award winner Nathan Lane returns to Roundabout following the production of The Man Who Came to Dinner (2000) at the American Airlines Theatre.  Tony® Award-winning director Anthony Page most recently directed Bill Irwin in his Tony® Award-winning performance of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and returns to Roundabout having directed Inadmissible Evidence in 1981 and The Caretaker in 1982.
A cornerstone of twentieth century theatre, Waiting for Godot was Samuel Beckett’s first professionally produced play.  It premiered in Paris in 1953 and premiered on Broadway in 1956 at the John Golden Theatre.  Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existentialism of post-World War II Europe.

Tickets will be available in the winter of 2009, by phone at (212) 719-1300, online at or at the Studio 54 theatre box office (254 West 54th Street).

Waiting for Godot will play Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.

Bill Irwin (Vladimir) recently starred on Broadway and London’s West End in the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf for which he won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. In 2003/2004 The Signature Theatre devoted their season entirely to his original work for which he acted as writer, director and performer.  He is an original member of Kraken, directed by Herbert Blau, and of San Francisco's Pickle Family Circus, with Larry Pisoni and Geoff Hoyle. Original works include the Broadway productions Fool Moon (with David Shiner), Largely New York (5 Tony Award nominations, Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards) and The Regard of Flight developed with Doug Skinner, M.C. O'Connor and Nancy Harrington (many of these first developed at Dance Theatre Workshop).  Other Broadway: The Goat or Who is Sylvia opposite Sally Field, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, 5-6-7-8 Dance!. Off-Broadway: Waiting For Godot, Scapin, The Tempest, Garden of Earthly Delights, Texts for Nothing, A Flea In Her Ear (directed for Roundabout Theatre). Regional: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Helen Hayes Award), The Seagull, A Man's A Man, 3 Cuckolds, Waiting for Godot.  Television: the recent PBS Great Performances telecast "Bill Irwin Clown Prince," "Third Rock from the Sun," "Northern Exposure," "Sesame Street," "Elmo's World,"  "The Regard of Flight" (also for Great Performances), the Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games, "The Cosby Show," "The Laramie Project," "Subway Stories," "Bette Midler: Mondo Beyondo, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, CSI, Life on Mars.  Music Videos: "Don't Worry, Be Happy," (Bobby McFerrin) and "Let Me into Your Heart" (Mary Chapin Carpenter).  Film: He can currently be seen in Jonathon Demme’s film, Rachel Getting Married.  Other credits include Popeye, Eight Men Out, Silent Tongue, Illuminata, My Blue Heaven, A New Life, Hot Shots, Scenes from a Mall, Stepping Out, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Igby Goes Down, Lady in the Water, Dark Matter, Raving, Across The Universe. Awards: National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer's Fellowship, Guggenheim and Fulbright and MacArthur Fellowships.

Nathan Lane (Estragon) made his Broadway debut with George C. Scott in the 1982 revival of Present Laughter as Roland Maule, for which he received a Drama Desk nomination. This was followed by Merlin with Chita Rivera, Toad in The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad at Lincoln Center, On Borrowed Time with George C. Scott and Teresa Wright, Nathan Detroit in Jerry Zaks’ 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls (Tony nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards), Max Prince in Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Buzz in Terrence McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion! (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Actor), Pseudolus in Jerry Zaks’ 1996 revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards), SheriDan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Roundabout, Max Bialystock in The Producers (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and in London the Olivier Award), Dionysos in The Frogs for which Mr. Lane co-authored the book, with a score by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Susan Stroman, Oscar Madison in the 2005 revival of The Odd Couple, Butley for director Nicholas Martin in 2006 at the Booth Theater, and as President Charles H.E. Smith in David Mamet’s November in 2008. Off-Broadway he was most recently seen in Terrence McNally’s Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams. In 1992 he won the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence. Credits include Trumbo; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Measure for Measure (St. Clair Bayfield Award) directed by Joe Papp; Luv the musical; She Stoops to Conquer; Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit; The Film Society and Mizlansky/Zilinsky by Jon Robin Baitz; In a Pig’s Valise; The Lisbon Traviata  (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards); Bad Habits; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Love! Valour! Compassion! (Obie Award) all by Terrence McNally; Do Re Mi at Encores and an acclaimed performance in Simon Gray’s Butley at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. In television he has received five Emmy nominations and won two Emmy Awards as well as a People’s Chioce Award. Mr. Lane has appeared in over 30 films including The Birdcage (Golden Globe nomination, Screen Actor’s Guild and American Comedy awards), Ironweed, Frankie and Johnny, Mousehunt, Jeffrey, The Lion King, Stuart Little, Nicholas Nickleby (National Board of Review Award) and The Producers with Mr. Broderick, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell.
Samuel Beckett (Playwright) was born in 1906 near Dublin. In 1927, he graduated from Trinity College where he eventually taught. His early work includes the long poem "Whoroscope" and essay "Proust" followed by short stories collected in More Pricks Than Kicks, and Echo's Bones, a collection of verse. During WWII, he played an active part in the French Resistance. Following the war, he wrote a trilogy of novels, Malloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable. His landmark play, Waiting for Godot, was completed in 1950 and premiered in Paris in 1953. He went on to write many others, including Endgame and Happy Days. Until his death in 1989, he continued to write short plays including "Not I," "Footfalls," "Ghost Trio," "Rockaby," "Catastrophe," and "What Where." His later works of fiction include Worstward Ho and Stirrings Still. In 1969, Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Anthony Page (Director) studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner.  As artistic director at the Royal Court Theatre, London, for various periods between 1964 and 1973, Mr. Page directed the premieres of five John Osborne plays: Inadmissible Evidence, A Patriot for Me, Hotel in Amsterdam, Time Present and West of Suez.  He directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End and Albee’s Marriage Play and Finding the Sun for the Royal National Theatre; Albee’s Three Tall Women and A Delicate Balance with Dame Maggie Smith; and A Doll’s House with Janet McTeer, which transferred to Broadway (Tony Award, Best Director).  For the Royal Court, he directed the first revival of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, as well as Beckett’s Not I.  At the Royal National, Mr. Page directed Absolute Hell by Ackland, Ostrovsky’s The Forest and Sleep with Me by Kureishi.  Mr. Page also directed the New York productions of Inadmissible Evidence on Broadway, The Caretaker at the Roundabout, Heartbreak House at Circle in the Square, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway.  His films include Inadmissible Evidence, Alpha Beta and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.  He has also directed many movies for television, including “Bill,” “Pack of Lies,” “The Patricia Neal Story,” “Second Serve,” and 1994 the miniseries adaptation of “Middlemarch.”

Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit theatres.  The company contributes invaluably to New York's cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals and develops and produces new works by today’s writers and composers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today’s audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout's mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company.  Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts; and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  American Express is the 2008-2009 season sponsor of the Roundabout Theatre Company.  The Westin New York is the official hotel of Roundabout Theatre Company.  
Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2008-2009 season also includes Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, starring Frank Langella, directed by Doug Hughes; Rodgers & Hart’s Pal Joey, starring Stockard Channing, Christian Hoff & Martha Plimpton, directed by Joe Mantello; David Rabe’s Streamers, directed by Scott Ellis; Steven Levenson’s The Language of Trees, directed by Alex Timbers; Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, starring Mary-Louise Parker, directed by Ian Rickson; Lisa Loomer’s Distracted featuring Cynthia Nixon, directed by Mark Brokaw and Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist, starring Matthew Broderick, directed by David Grindley.  Roundabout’s sold out production of The 39 Steps transferred to the Cort Theatre on April 29th, 2008.
Roundabout Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed Broadway production of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men is currently booking the third year of its multi-award winning tour.  Twelve Angry Men is directed by Tony-nominated director Scott Ellis (Curtains).

Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd

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