Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale will return to Broadway this fall in The Lifespan of a Fact, a world-premiere play by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, adapted from the best-selling book of the same name.
That 2012 publication was built around an essay by John D’Agata titled “What Happens There,” originally commissioned for Harper’s magazine in 2003, about the suicide the previous year of Levi Presley in Las Vegas, exploring the Nevada gambling capital’s tourism-centered culture and traditionally high suicide rates. The piece was pulled by Harper’s after editors became aware of factual errors. It was then submitted to The Believer, kicking off a seven-year correspondence in which D’Agata discussed his research and reporting process with fact-checker Jim Fingal. The edited essay was finally published in 2010.
Tony nominee Leigh Silverman will direct the play, which begins performances Sept. 20 at Studio 54 in a limited 16-week engagement that officially opens Oct. 18.
Spanning the years between the writing and publication of the Vegas article, the drama explores the blurred lines of what passes for truth in literary nonfiction. Radcliffe will play Fingal in the production, with Jones as his magazine editor boss and Cannavale as D’Agata.
Radcliffe has returned repeatedly to Broadway in the years since the Harry Potter film franchise began winding down. He made his debut in 2008 in Equus, tested his skills in musical comedy in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 2011, and played the title role in 2014 in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan.
Stage veteran Jones won Tony Awards for lead actress in The Heiress in 1995 and Doubt in 2005. Her most recent Broadway appearance was in The Glass Menagerie in 2014. Cannavale received a Tony nomination for best actor in 2011 in The Motherfucker With the Hat. His other Broadway credits include Mauritius, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross opposite Al Pacino and The Big Knife.
Lead producer on The Lifespan of a Fact is Jeffrey Richards.