What do Of Mice And Men, Betrayal, No Man’s Land, and Waiting For Godot have in common? Other than the fact that I had to read all of these plays in high school, they’re all being revived this fall in New York with A-list casting.
I’ve already brought up the subject of Bryan Cranston as LBJ. But like a whirlwind of awesomeness, this apparently just scratches the surface of what’s coming to the Great White Way. It was confirmed yesterday that film actor James Franco and Chris O’Dowd from “Bridesmaids and the IT Crowd (have you tried turning it off and on again?) will star in John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice And Men as George and Lennie, respectively.
You’ve probably heard the expression “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.” Well that’s just what happens in this tragedy about two migrant workers who keep looking for work in the 1920s.
In another inspired pairing, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan will alternate shows in a combined run of Waiting For Godot and No Man’s Land.
These two works are far more of the existential variety and have both been praised and criticized for their obscure meanings. Written by in French by Irishman Samuel Becket, Waiting For Godot is about Vladimir and Estragon who spend the entire play waiting for someone named Godot. But he never shows up. That’s it. People have often wondered whether or not Godot is a reference to God, but Becket denied that until his death.
And if that weren’t enough, James Bond himself Daniel Craig is currently on Broadway with his wife Rachel Weisz in a production of Betrayal by Harold Pinter (who also wrote No Man’s Land).
Betrayal is about a torrid love triangle. But what makes this play unique is that it’s told backwards, told from the end of a couple’s marriage infidelity to before it even started. It even inspired a Seinfeld episode The Betrayal. It’s also about a love triangle (and a wedding in India) and, you guessed it, is an episode that takes place backwards.