Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood Will Star in The Old Globe's OTHELLO this Summer
The Old Globe today announced that two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Blair Underwood-who most recently made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and garnered rave reviews opposite Cicely Tyson in Lifetime's The Trip to Bountiful-will make his Globe debut in the title role of Shakespeare's classic tragedy Othello, the first show of the Globe's 2014 Summer Shakespeare Festival. Underwood's films include Something New, Deep Impact, Gattaca, and Rules of Engagement, and his television credits include "Ironside," "In Treatment," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," and "Sex and the City." Joining him and also making their Globe debuts are the previously announced Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas ("The Americans," "The Waltons") as Iago and Kristen Connolly ("House of Cards," The Cabin in the Woods) as Desdemona.
From New York's Shakespeare in the Park to Balboa Park, Artistic Director Barry Edelstein makes his outdoor directorial debut in The Old Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre with one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. Despite the prejudices in Venice, the brilliant general Othello excels both on the battlefield and in the halls of state. But when he marries Desdemona, his envious lieutenant Iago sets in motion a diabolical plan to destroy him. Edelstein gives us a riveting, intense, and intimate production where poetry soars and swords clash, where true love and wrenching jealousy collide.
Performances run June 22 - July 27, with Opening Night on Saturday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets to the Globe's 2014 Summer Season are currently available by subscription only, and prices range from $92 to $332. Subscription packages may be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the box office.
No stranger to the Bard, Underwood starred in Measure for Measure with Lisa Gay Hamilton and Kevin Kline for the 1993 summer season at the New York Shakespeare Festival (aka Shakespeare in the Park). Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly continue collaborations with Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein that began in New York: Thomas starred in Edelstein's critically acclaimed production of Timon of Athens at The Public Theater in 2011, and Connolly in three Shakespeare plays that Edelstein helped produce at The Public.
"I'm honored and excited to welcome the great Blair Underwood to the Old Globe family," said Edelstein. "He is a distinguished stage actor whose intensity and charisma will give us a majestic and magnetic Othello. That he joins a company already boasting the luminaries Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly is truly for me an embarrassment of riches."
Blair Underwood (Othello) is an award-winning actor/writer/director/producer. Underwood has received two Golden Globe Award nominations, 10 NAACP Image Award nominations (six wins), and was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for former Vice President Al Gore's album An Inconvenient Truth. His theatre credits include the recent Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, which garnered him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination; his one-man show IM4: From the Mountaintop to Hip Hop, Purlie, New York Shakespeare Festival's Measure for Measure, The Game of Love and Chance, and Love Letters. His television credits include "Ironside," The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson, "The Event," "In Treatment," "Dirty Sexy Money," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "Sex and the City," Mama Flora's Family, Murder in Mississippi, Soul of the Game, "City of Angels," The Wishing Tree, Heat Wave, and "L.A. Law." His film credits include The Art of Getting By, Madea's Family Reunion, Something New, Full Frontal, Rules of Engagement, Deep Impact, Just Cause, Posse, Set It Off, The Second Coming (director, executive producer, writer, and star), and The Bridge to Nowhere (directorial debut). He is the co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA). In 2009, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation opened the Blair Underwood Clinic, a full-service, state-of-the art HIV/AIDS treatment clinic in Washington, D.C. The clinic was named after him due to his longtime charity advocacy.
Richard Thomas (Iago) starred in the award-winning series "The Waltons," for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He has continued to star in series, films, plays, and over 50 movies for television. His theatre career began at age seven with the 1958 Broadway production of Sunrise at Campobello and continued with such shows as Fifth of July, The Seagull, The Front Page, Tiny Alice, Peer Gynt, Richard II, Richard III, Hamlet, and The Stendhal Syndrome. His other stage credits include Broadway's Democracy and A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, the national tour of the Broadway revival of 12 Angry Men, and Unusual Acts of Devotion by Terrence McNally. His recent projects include the Broadway production of David Mamet's Race; the title role in The Public Theater's Timon of Athens; Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays for the Minetta Lane Theatre; and the world premiere of Camp David at Arena Stage. He last appeared on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of An Enemy of the People. Thomas can currently be seen on the hit FX series "The Americans." He also had starring roles on series such as "Just Cause," "It's a Miracle," and "The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson." His television films include the Stephen King miniseries Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Stephen King's It, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Silence, The Red Badge of Courage, The Master of Ballantrae, Johnny Belinda, Berlin Tunnel 21, Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. Story, Hobson's Choice, Roots: The Next Generations, Go Toward the Light, In the Name of the People, The Christmas Secret, The Miracle of the Cards, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anna's Dream, Annie's Point, Wild Hearts, and most recently Hallmark Channel's film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. As a producer, Thomas has worked on such television projects as What Love Sees and For All Time. Thomas has appeared in such movies as The Wonder Boys, Battle Beyond the Stars, The Todd Killings, Last Summer, Winning, Red Sky at Morning, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, and the forthcoming Anesthesia.
Kristen Connolly (Desdemona) recently completed shooting the NBC pilot "Tin Man," written by Ehren Krueger and directed by D.J. Caruso. She also recently completed work on the History Channel miniseries Houdini opposite Adrien Brody. She is best known for playing the role of Christina Gallagher on the acclaimed Netflix series "House of Cards." She was most recently seen on film in Lionsgate/MGM's The Cabin in the Woods. Connolly's other film credits include The Bay, The Happening, and Revolutionary Road. She has appeared Off Broadway in King Lear and the 2011 Shakespeare in the Park productions of All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure.
The creative team includes Wilson Chin (Scenic Design), Katherine Roth (Costume Design), Stephen Strawbridge (Lighting Design), Sten Severson (Sound Design), Curtis Moore (Original Music), Jan Gist (Vocal and Dialect Coach), Tara Rubin Casting (Casting), and Leila Knox (Stage Manager).