I don’t know how this is going to work, exactly. Much awarded and beloved director Stephen Daldry (The Reader, Billy Elliott, etc) is bringing two British productions to Broadway next spring. One is an original play by Peter Morgan– The Audience. The other is a revival– Skylight by David Hare. He directed both of them in the West End, at different times, and now he’s got them opening here at the same time.
Here’s the sticky wicket: each play has a lead actress who will compete against the other for the Tony Award for Best Actress. Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience.” Carey Mulligan plays an ex lover trying to get on with her life in “Skylight.” Each is a sensational performance. How awkward. What will Daldry do? What will Tony voters do?
“The Audience” also features Geoffrey Beevers, Michael Elwyn, Richard McCabe, and Rufus Wright as four of the 9 prime ministers who get audiences with the Queen. Five American actors will be hired for the other roles including a woman to play Margaret Thatcher. I wonder where Kate Nelligan is. She’d be perfect. John McMartin is likely practicing a British accent as we speak.
This Broadway season is turning into quite a drama. Jeremy Gerard says today that he thinks Jeremy Jordan won’t be playing the lead when “Finding Neverland” comes to the Lunt Fontanne next winter. I think he’s right– it will be a star. Neil Patrick Harris is probably over at Harvey Weinstein’s house right now, doing magic tricks for his kids.