Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams to Star on Broadway in 'Blackbird'
Scott Rudin will produce the volatile two-hander by Scottish playwright David Harrower, with Joe Mantello directing.
Jeff Daniels and director Joe Mantello will return to a tense drama that drew acclaim for them off-Broadway in 2007, when they reteam this season on a Broadway production of David Harrower's Blackbird. Co-starring in the Scottish playwright's unsettling two-hander is Michelle Williams, stepping into a role played in the earlier Manhattan Theatre Club production by Daniels' Newsroom castmate Alison Pill.
The play explores the shadowy recesses of guilt and innocence, love and obsession, abandonment and betrayal through the shifting emotional negotiations of Una and Ray when she tracks him down 15 years after they had an illicit sexual relationship during which she was underage.
First produced at the 2005 Edinburgh International Festival, the drama transferred to London's West End the following year, winning the 2007 Olivier Award for best new play. A feature film version, adapted by Harrower, directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, is in post-production.
Scott Rudin will produce the limited Broadway engagement, which begins previews Feb. 5 at the Belasco Theatre, officially opening on March 10. It is scheduled to run through June 12. The Tony-winning design team includes Scott Pask (sets), Ann Roth (costumes) and Brian MacDevitt (lighting).
Daniels last appeared on Broadway in the all-star 2009 production of Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, opposite Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden and James Gandolfini. Williams made her Broadway debut playing Sally Bowles in 2014 in the long-running revival of Cabaret.
One of the most prolific commercial producers on Broadway, Rudin is currently represented by the ongoing blockbuster The Book of Mormon.
In addition to Blackbird, his incoming slate for the current season includes Mark Strong in director Ivo van Hove's acclaimed London revival of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge; Ciaran Hinds, Sophie Okonedo, Saoirse Ronan and Ben Whishaw in Miller's The Crucible, also directed by van Hove; and Audra McDonald in writer-director George C. Wolfe's Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, which revisits the landmark Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle show.