Brooks Atkinson Theatre, (4/25/2004 - 7/11/2004)

First Preview: Apr 06, 2004
Opening Date: Apr 25, 2004
Closing Date: Jul 11, 2004
Total Previews: 23
Total Performances: 89

Category: Play, Farce, Revival

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; James L. Nederlander: President)

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Freddy DeMann, Jean Doumanian, Stephanie McClelland and Arielle Tepper

Originally produced by The Royal National Theatre (Nicholas Hytner, Director)

Written by Tom Stoppard; Incidental music by Corin Buckeridge

Directed by David Leveaux; Choreographed by Aidan Treays; Associate Director: Matt Wilde

Scenic Design by Vicki Mortimer; Costume Design by Nicky Gillibrand; Lighting Design by Paule Constable; Sound Design by John Leonard and Aura Sound Design, Ltd.; Associate Scenic Design: Bryan Johnson; Associate Lighting Design: Daniel Walker; Associate Sound Designer / Production Sound Supervisor: Christopher Cronin

General Manager: 101 Productions, Ltd.; Company Manager: Brig Berney; Assistant Co. Mgr: Bonnie Burke

Production Stage Manager: Arthur Gaffin; Technical Supervisor: David Benken; Stage Manager: Laurie Goldfeder

Musical Coordinator: Michael Keller; Conducted by Tim Weil; Keyboard: Tim Weil; Drums: James Saporito; Bass: Richard Sarpola

Video Design by Dick Straker, Sven Ortel and Mesmer

Dance Captain: Joseph P. McDonnell; U.S. Casting: Jim Carnahan; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: HHC Marketing; The photo of Essie Davis on the cover of the Playbill is by Hugo Glendinning; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; U.K. Costume Supervisor: Claire Murphy; Production Assistant: Melanie T. Morgan

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Opening Night Cast

Simon Russell Beale
Broadway debut
George
Essie Davis
Broadway debut
Dotty
Nicky HensonArchie
Eliza Lumley
Broadway debut
Secretary
John RoganCrouch
Nicholas WoodesonBones
Michael ArnoldJumper
Andrew Asnes
Broadway debut
Jumper
Clark Scott CarmichaelJumper
Karl ChristianJumper Swing
Tom Hildebrand
Broadway debut
Jumper
Michael Hollick
Broadway debut
Jumper (Greystoke)
Don JohansonJumper
Joseph P. McDonnellJumper
Hillel MeltzerJumper (McFee)
Aaron Vexler
Broadway debut
Jumper Swing

Standby: Tony Carlin (Archie), John Curless (George), Julian Gamble (Bones, Crouch) and Crista Moore (Dotty, Secretary)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Revival of a Play [nominee] 

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Freddy DeMann, Jean Doumanian, Stephanie McClelland and Arielle Tepper; Originally produced by The Royal National Theatre (Nicholas Hytner, Director)

 2004 Best Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Simon Russell Beale

 2004 Best Featured Actress in a Play [nominee] 

Essie Davis

 2004 Best Direction of a Play [nominee] 

David Leveaux

Reviews


AP: "Jumpers Mixes High Jinks, Low Comedy"

Put on those thinking caps, folks, it’s time to face "Jumpers," Tom Stoppard's high hurdle of a comedy filled with dense philosophical discussion, impossibly clever quips, deliberately bad musical numbers and one dead gymnast.

The revival, which opened Sunday at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre, comes from Britain's National Theatre, where it was a big hit last summer.

Stateside, however, American audiences could be flummoxed by Stoppard's ornate wordplay that seems to be forever calling attention to itself and the play's very specific English references that will have non-Anglophiles scratching their heads.

Along with all that dazzle, "Jumpers," which had a short run on Broadway 30 years ago, exudes a certain smugness as Stoppard spins his rarefied tale of intellectual high links and low comedy. The plot is overstuffed with language and physical movement. Even designer Vicki Mortimer's intricate turntable setting never seems to stop moving. The story revolves around George, a rumpled professor of moral philosophy who is preparing a paper on the existence of God and who dictates his thoughts to a silent but efficient secretary.

Stoppard's verbal dexterity is astonishing as he lays out George's argument for the presence of a higher power. These thoughts make for some lengthy monologues which Simon Russell Beale (as George) delivers with remarkable finesse. Beale is making his Broadway debut in "Jumpers" although the actor is known to New Yorkers from his sterling performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in such classics as "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya."

Here, perhaps to compensate for the esoteric material, Beale tries a bit too hard to be ingratiating. His portrait of the unraveling George is bigger, broader and filled with more bits of stage busyness than it was in London.

That said, Beale does capture the essential sadness of a man desperately trying to repair a damaged marriage with the insecure, appropriately named Dotty, played by the voluptuous Essie Davis. It's the one note of humanity in a play that, despite the laughs, is cold and chilly.

Among other things, "Jumpers" is a murder mystery: who killed the yellow-suited gymnast? The man, along with a squad of fellow philosopher-athletes, was performing at a party given by Dotty when he was shot.

Dotty, of course, is the prime suspect. She is a promiscuous, mentally fragile woman who walked out on her musical-comedy career in mid song. Now she's having an affair with Archie, a vice chancellor at the university as well as her psychiatrist.

As the wanton - and often naked - wife, Davis is a comic delight.

She's sexy and vulnerable, particularly when perched atop a crescent moon high above the stage and singing songs about the moon.

The other supporting players are equally adept: Nicky Henson as the unctuous, urbane Archie; Nicholas Woodeson as Inspector Bones, a policeman right out of Agatha Christie by way of Monty Python; John Rogan as a doddering servant, and EIiza Lumley as the mute secretary.

Director David Leveaux worked wonders with his recent Broadway revivals of "Nine" and "Fiddler on the Roof." Both were carefully rethought.

Leveaux is a smart, savvy director, and "Jumpers" never looks or sounds less than elegant. Yet Stoppard's metaphysical musings are hard to make theatrical. And for a lot of the time, they somersault right over the heads of the audience.


AP
04/24/2004

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