Kim Cattrall has won a slew of positive reviews for her turn as a faded movie actress in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird Of Youth. The Sex and the City star is appearing in a new production of the classic play at Kevin Spacey's Old Vic theatre in London this summer (13), and the production opened to praise from theatre critics this week (beg10Jun13).
Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper gave the play a top ranking of five stars, writing, "Sweet Bird of Youth... sees the welcome return of Kim Cattrall to the stage... She is (on) incendiary form here... Cattrall... brilliantly captures the hell of an alcoholic awakening that begins the play... Sweet Bird of Youth certainly isn't a play for the faint-hearted but boy does it deliver the theatrical goods."
Michael Billington of The Guardian calls the production "first rate" and adds that "Cattrall conveys the desperation of a woman who knows she is the product of an industry where you're only as good as your last movie."
However, some critics noted Cattrall's youthful good looks made her slightly unbelievable as an ageing and washed up star.
Henry Hitchings of the London Evening Standard writes, "Kim Cattrall brings languid allure and a finely judged air of irrationality to her role as a fading film star... (But) despite a very unflattering wig, Cattrall is simply too radiant to be able to seem convincingly crumpled."
Speaking after Wednesday's (12Jun13) opening night, Cattrall, 56, told the BBC, "(The role deals with a lot of issues) a lot of women my age are dealing with... feeling that you're still valid and you're still attractive and you still have something to say - that time has not passed you by. These are messages and things that I'm dealing with in real life, not just on the stage. So they resonate for me in a very specific way. It's a great challenge, and I felt very vulnerable playing it and going there."
Actor/playwright Steven Berkoff has accused Kevin Spacey of ignoring new writing talent by only staging revivals of popular plays at his Old Vic theatre in London. The Octopussy star, who has written numerous stage productions over the years, has taken aim at Spacey over his role as artistic director of the theatre company in the British capital, insisting he should do more to boost upcoming playwrights.
He tells the London Evening Standard, "All Spacey does is revivals and summer stock. It means the Old Vic is now a place just for tourists."
Upcoming shows at the Old Vic this year (13) include a revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth, starring Kim Cattrall, and William Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, with James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave.
The Perfect Storm star will open in the play at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois in September (12).
She'll play a fading movie star, opposite young Broadway actor Finn Wittrock, who will portray her toyboy love interest.
Nicole Kidman and James Franco were once attached to the project, when it was slated to become a straight-to-Broadway production.
The 1950s play originally featured Geraldine Page and Paul Newman, who reprised their roles in the hit 1962 movie. Irene Worth won a Tony Award for her performance in a 1970s revival.
The workaholic actor, who is currently studying at Yale University, has been forced to drop out of Tennessee Williams' play Sweet Bird of Youth.
Kidman is still on board for the play about an ageing actress and the gigolo paramour who uses her as he tries to help her get back into the movies.
The Academy Award nominee shocked industry insiders when he first appeared on the longrunning soap back in 2009 as a serial killer, aptly named Robert 'Franco' Frank.
His return comes when his character's gay crush Jason Morgan is set to wed Sam McCall, and bosses have promised viewers they will witness Franco's madcap character's "most twisted plan yet".
The already busy Franco, who mixes his acting with art projects and several university courses, will have an even bigger juggling act on his hands - he will be expected to film General Hospital episodes in Hollywood while jetting to New York to star in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth opposite Nicole Kidman.
Last September (10), show bosses announced Kidman's return to Broadway for a revival of the Tennessee Williams play. She previously appeared in David Hare's The Blue Room in 1998.
The actress will portray Alexandra Del Lago, the ageing, drunken movie star played by Geraldine Page in the original 1959 production, which co-starred Paul Newman as her character's lover, gigolo Chance Wayne.
Now Sweet Birth of Youth producer Scott Rudin is said to be in talks with Franco to on the male lead next autumn (11), in the role last played on Broadway by Christopher Walken in 1975, according to Showbiz411.com.
It's been a good week for the actor - his starring role in survival drama 127 Hours has earned him a best actor nomination for the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards, and he's also been handed the job of co-hosting the 2011 Academy Awards, alongside Anne Hathaway.
The production, directed by David Cromer and produced by Tony winner Scott Rudin, will open next autumn, a spokesman for the production said on Friday (17Sep10).
Kidman will portray Alexandra Del Lago, the ageing, drunken movie star played by Geraldine Page in the original 1959 production, which co-starred Paul Newman as her character's lover, gigolo Chance Wayne.
Newman also starred in a film version of the play and in the last Broadway revival in 1975.
Kidman previously caused a sensation when she stripped for a brief scene in Broadway's The Blue Room in 1998. The David Hare play - her Broadway debut - drew mixed reviews, reports the New York Post.
Further casting details had not been released as WENN went to press.
An adaptation of Tennessee Williams' 1959 play about a fading film star who finds solace through drugs, alcohol and young men. Now involved with a drifter, Chance Wayne, Alexandra Del Lago is unaware he wants to manipulate their relationship for his own ulterior motives. Returning together to the Florida hometown Chance fled years before, they must face the people he left behind, including vindictive politician Boss Finley, Miss Lucy, his alcoholic mistress, and Chance's childhood sweetheart.