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by Michael Portantiere

The Pinter of Our Discontent

  • "This is a play about power, love, hate, possession, desire, uncertainty, loss of possession, all sorts of things. Sure, there's plenty of sex in The Homecoming, but the play is not about naked female thighs. [Pause] Not entirely." Thus spake Harold Pinter of one of the 20th century's most provocative stage works, which he happens to have written. Billed as "an edgy and compelling tale of lust, betrayal, and seduction," The Homecoming concerns the men of a dysfunctional British family, who compete for the attentions of an estranged brother's "dangerously alluring" wife. A new production of the play is soon to open on Broadway at the Cort Theatre for a limited engagement, with performances beginning November 23 and the official opening set for December 13. The company met the press on Monday, October 22; here are some pics from that event.


    Eve Best, incandescent as Josie Hogan in last season's revival of A Moon For the Misbegotten, plays Ruth -- the woman whose thighs the play is not entirely about.


    Raúl Esparza, who plays Lenny, most recently triumphed on Broadway as Bobby in Company and is now getting lots of attention for his intriguing featured role on ABC-TV's Pushing Daisies.


    Michael McKean, so delightful as Vernon Hines in The Pajama Game, takes on a very different sort of role as Sam in The Homecoming.


    Ian McShane (Max) has not appeared on Broadway since The Promise in 1967, but has kept busy on stage in London and Los Angeles. You probably know him from HBO's Deadwood or from his work in such films as Hot Rod, Shrek the Third, We Are Marshall, and Sexy Beast.


    Gareth Saxe (Joey) was last seen on Broadway in the excellent Roundabout Theatre Company production of Shaw's Heartbreak House.


    James Frain, whom you may well recognize from TV's The Tudors, will make his Broadway debut in The Homecoming as Teddy.


    Daniel Sullivan, one of the very best directors in the business, helms The Homecoming.

    Published on Monday, October 22, 2007

    Michael Portantiere has more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has interviewed theater notables for NPR.org, PLAYBILL, STAGEBILL, and OPERA NEWS, and has written notes for several cast albums. Michael is co-author of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: BEHIND THE MYLAR CURTAIN, published in 2008 by Hal Leonard/Applause. Additionally, he is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several major websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.) He can be reached at [email protected]

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