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Written by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed by Max Webster, the Olivier Award-winning play will open at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on March 30, 2023. Previews for the show, which will announce its cast at a later date, will begin on March 9.
The story follows a 16-year-old Indian boy, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, who survives over 200 days stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan after a cargo ship wrecks and sinks in the Pacific Ocean. Themes center on spirituality and metaphysics and explore not only the nature of reality but both how it is told and perceived.
In a statement, Chakrabarti describes her adaptation process as “daunting, creatively exciting and always collaborative.”
“To be able to tell this story the way I imagined it, to create the world using my references and viewpoint has been an extraordinary gift. And to see it resonate with young and old audience members alike has been humbling,” the playwright continued in a statement. “It is a beautiful, visceral, magical show, a story of survival which all of us can fundamentally relate to after the effects of the pandemic. I am beyond thrilled that we will bring this play to Broadway.”
The play will be produced by Simon Friend, Daryl Roth, Hal Luftig, Mark Gordon and Playing Field. Its creative team includes puppet and movement direction by Finn Caldwell, puppet design by Caldwell and Nick Barnes and video design by Andrzej Goulding. Set and costume design are by Tim Hatley, with lighting design by Lutkin and sound design by Carolyn Downing. The show’s original music is from Andrew T. Mackay with dramaturgy by Jack Bradley.
“Having started work seven years ago to bring Yann Martel’s much-loved story to the stage, for it to live on Broadway is enormously gratifying,” Friend said in a statement. “Life of Pi has been so joyously received by audiences young and old in the U.K., which is testament to the skill of the large team of artists delivering a show which entertains, and makes you think and feel in equal measure.”
The play is set to make its North American debut later this year at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, running from Dec. 4, 2022 to Jan. 29, 2023 at the Loeb Drama Center in a production led by Diane Paulus, the Terrie and Bradley Bloom artistic director, and executive director Kelvin Dinkins Jr.
The award-winning adaptation first opened in 2019 at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre before transferring to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre in November 2021. There it won five Olivier Awards, among them best new play. The seven performers who play the Royal Bengal tiger “Richard Parker” were also collectively awarded best actor in a supporting role, a historic move for the awarding body.
Tickets for Life of Pi are set to go on sale to the general public on Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. ET, with exclusive presales for American Express cardholders and audience reward members beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, respectively.
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