Sally Field to return to Broadway in 'The Glass Menagerie'

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 06, 2016 4:50 PM
Sally Field to return to Broadway in 'The Glass Menagerie'

NEW YORK (AP) — Emmy- and Oscar-winner Sally Field will return to Broadway this spring in a revival of "The Glass Menagerie," playing a part she has tackled before but never managed to shake.

Field will play Amanda Wingfield, the faded Southern belle at the heart of the Tennessee Williams play. She played the same part in 2004 at the Kennedy Center but said that run felt too short.

"Amanda is such the quintessential character I'd love to know, to be able to really feel like I owned her in some way," Field told The Associated Press. "I have always felt like I didn't really get enough of that at all."

The revival will be directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold ("Fun Home") and co-star two-time Tony Award winning actor and director Joe Mantello, playing Wingfield's son, along with Finn Wittrock and Madison Ferris. Scott Rudin is producing.

Mantello, who has won Tonys for directing "Wicked" and "Take Me Out," returns to Broadway as an actor for the first time since the 2011 Broadway revival of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart." He said he was convinced to come aboard by the chance to work with Gold, someone he admires.

"I honestly thought, 'Well, what's the worst that can happen? I'll come out of this being a better director," said Mantello, who currently has four shows running on Broadway in "Blackbird," ''The Humans," ''Wicked" and "An Act of God."

He added that he was always intrigued by the idea of playing Tom Wingfield but figured the time had past, now that he is 53. But Gold made a "very compelling case for it and hopefully, we'll see what happens."

"The thing about great plays is that they're very sturdy and they can handle different kinds of interpretation and re-interpretation because that just helps illuminate different elements of the play," Mantello said.

Field made her Broadway debut in 2002 in "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia" by Edward Albee, a production that was also produced by Rudin.

"The Glass Menagerie" centers on an aging Southern belle who hopes her son can fulfill her dreams of finding the perfect "gentleman caller" for her shy and damaged daughter. The last revival was in 2013, starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto.

"These great works — they call upon the interpretation of different voices at different times. They ask that and that's what's so interesting: They will evolve with those voices and yet remain the same," Field said.

Field said she has been searching for a role to return to Broadway but couldn't find any that spoke to her as profoundly as Amanda.

She said there really aren't huge, powerful stage roles for women equivalent to Hamlet or Willy Loman of "Death of a Salesman."

"To me, Amanda is in a handful of great female roles. There aren't a lot, really," she said. "I keep looking for new plays and am constantly doing readings. I'll do anything. But maybe because I needed to get this out of my system — I needed to have my time with her — nothing else has really completely rung the bell."

Field won Academy Awards for "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart" and was Oscar nominated for her Mary Todd in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." She also spent five seasons in ABC's "Brothers and Sisters," winning an Emmy in its first season. Her latest film is "Hello, My Name Is Doris."

The new "The Glass Menagerie" will play the Golden Theatre, beginning Feb. 14, with an official opening night set for March 23.

___

Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits