Lyceum Theatre, (4/12/2007 - 7/08/2007)

First Preview: Mar 19, 2007
Opening Date: Apr 12, 2007
Closing Date: Jul 08, 2007
Total Previews: 27
Total Performances: 100

Category: Play, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: A small town. Summer. Not too long ago.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President)

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President), Lawrence Horowitz, Jon Avnet/Ralph Guild, Roy Furman, Debra Black/Daryl Roth, Bill Rollnick/Nancy Ellison Rollnick and Stephanie McClelland; Associate Producer: Judith Resnick

Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee; Original Music by David Van Tieghem

Directed by Doug Hughes; Associate Director: Mark Schneider

Scenic Design by Santo Loquasto; Costume Design by Santo Loquasto; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by David Van Tieghem; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Associate Scenic Design: Jenny B. Sawyers; Associate Costume Design: Matthew Pachtman; Associate Lighting Design: Michael O'Connor; Associate Sound Design: Jill B.C. Du Boff; Scenic Assistant: Tobin Ost

General Manager: 101 Productions, Ltd.; Company Manager: Gregg Arst

Technical Supervisor: Peter Fulbright; Production Manager: Tech Production Services, Inc., Colleen Houlehen and Jackie Prats; Production Stage Manager: Michael Brunner; Stage Manager: Barclay Stiff

Musical Supervisor: David M. Lutken

Casting: Jay Binder and Jack Bowdan; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: HHC Marketing; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.

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Opening Night Cast

Brian DennehyMatthew Harrison Brady
Christopher PlummerHenry Drummond
Byron JenningsRev. Jeremiah Brown
Denis O'HareE. K. Hornbeck
Terry BeaverJudge
Anne BowlesMrs. Loomis
Steve BradyTownsperson
Bill BuellMr. Bannister
Bill ChristVendor
Carson ChurchGospel Quartet
Conor DonovanHoward
Lanny FlahertyElijah
Kit FlanaganTownsperson
Beth FowlerMrs. Brady
Sherman HowardTownsperson
Katie KlausGospel Quartet
Maggie LaceyRachel Brown
Jordan LageTom Davenport
Mary Kate LawGospel Quartet
Philip LeStrangeTownsperson
Kevin LoomisMonkey Man
David M. LutkenGospel Quartet
Charlotte MaierMrs. Krebs
Matthew NardozziTimmy
Randall NewsomePhotographer
Jay PattersonDunlap
Pippa PearthreeMrs. Blair
Scott SowersMeeker
Amanda SprecherMelinda
Erik SteeleReuter's Reporter
Harry Y. Esterbrook
Jeff SteitzerMayor
Henry StramMr. Goodfellow
Benjamin WalkerBertram Cates
Andrew WeemsSillers

Understudies: Anne Bowles (Rachel Brown), Steve Brady (Dunlap, Elijah, Sillers), Bill Christ (Mr. Goodfellow, Rev. Jeremiah Brown), Kit Flanagan (Mrs. Blair, Mrs. Brady, Mrs. Krebs), Sherman Howard (Henry Drummond, Monkey Man), Jordan Lage (E. K. Hornbeck), Philip LeStrange (Judge, Mayor, Mr. Bannister), Kevin Loomis (Meeker, Reuter's Man), Matthew Nardozzi (Howard, Melinda), Erik Steele (Bertram Cates, Photographer) and Jeff Steitzer (Matthew Harrison Brady)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2007 Best Revival of a Play [nominee] 

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President), Lawrence Horowitz, Jon Avnet/Ralph Guild, Roy Furman, Debra Black/Daryl Roth, Bill Rollnick/Nancy Ellison Rollnick and Stephanie McClelland

 2007 Best Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Christopher Plummer

 2007 Best Costume Design of a Play [nominee] 

Santo Loquasto

 2007 Best Lighting Design of a Play [nominee] 

Brian MacDevitt

Drama Desk Award

 2007 Outstanding Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Christopher Plummer

 2007 Outstanding Director of a Play [nominee] 

Doug Hughes

 2007 Outstanding Music for a Play [nominee] 

Incidental music by David Van Tieghem


AP: "Inherit the Wind crackles with drama"

It takes two larger-than-life actors to make "Inherit the Wind" really crackle, and its latest Broadway revival has come up with quite a pair - Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy.

The play, a fictionalized retelling by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee of the "Scopes monkey trial," is an old-fashioned, American courtroom drama. Yet today, the subject matter still sounds contemporary, and director Doug Hughes has given the work a streamlined, fast-paced production that manages to get the most out of this cannily constructed entertainment now on view at the Lyceum Theatre.

Set in a small Southern town in 1925, "Inherit the Wind" follows the trial of a young school teacher accused of teaching evolution. Yet the play, first seen in New York in 1955, doesn't focus on the teacher. It finds its fireworks in the clash between the defense lawyer and the prosecuting attorney.

Plummer portrays the man's lawyer, a role modeled after the legendary Clarence Darrow, and Dennehy is his opponent, a character loosely based on perennial presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.

There is something eminently satisfying about watching two pros at work. The craggy Plummer, slicked-down hair falling to one side of his forehead, moves slowly, each movement guaranteed to get the audience's attention.

But it's more than movement that gets theatergoers to notice him. There's Plummer's voice, crisp and forceful, as his character - Henry Drummond - negotiates his way through a proceeding that's stacked against his client, played with appropriate earnestness by Benjamin Walker.

The town of Hillsboro, described by a reporter covering the trial as "the buckle in the Bible Belt," is firmly in the anti-evolution camp. Before the play begins, a quartet of on-stage performers sing hymns. Audience members also sit on stage, forming a kind of a modern-day jury.

Lawrence and Lee, best known for their play "Auntie Mame" and the book for its musical adaptation ("Mame"), are not into agitprop, although "Inherit the Wind" certainly finds its hero in Plummer's character. But the lawyer is after more than whether evolution is right or wrong.

"I hold that the right to think is very much on trial," says Drummond, describing the defendant as a thinking man "threatened with fine and imprisonment because he chooses to speak what he thinks."

The barrel-chested Dennehy is physically right for the self-assured prosecutor - Matthew Harrison Brady. The man booms with confidence, particularly where the Bible is concerned. And Dennehy has the craft to make sure the bluster doesn't turn into caricature.

Plummer and Dennehy rightly dominate the production, but other actors manage to make an impression, too. A Baltimore newspaper reporter (Denis O'Hare) covering the trial is awash in cynicism. "I am admired for my detestability," he grins, and O'Hare goes out of his way to make sure the journalist, a thinly disguised version of the real-life H.L. Mencken, is as obnoxious as possible.

Byron Jennings as a fire-and-brimstone preacher, Maggie Lacey as his agitated daughter (in love, of course, with the accused teacher) and Beth Fowler as Brady's sweetly supportive wife offer finely etched portraits.

"Inherit the Wind" was a big hit when it first opened on Broadway in a production featuring Paul Muni and Ed Begley, and there was a movie version in 1960 starring Spencer Tracy and Fredric March.

In its craftsmanship, the play is much like another venerable drama from the 1950s, "Twelve Angry Men," which was a surprise hit on Broadway in 2004. There is a suspense, a sense of anticipation about the outcome of "Inherit the Wind" that is innately theatrical.

Mix that with some of Drummond's more homey, common-sense observations - such as "The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool," which are peppered throughout the evening - and you have a play that, more than 50 years after its premiere, is still an unabashed crowd-pleaser.


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