Jeff Daniels & Michelle Williams to Return to Broadway in 'Blackbird'

September 27, 2015

Jeff DanielsJeff Daniels Michelle Williams
To Return to Broadway This Season









Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams will return to Broadway this season to star in David Harrower’s Olivier Award-winning drama BLACKBIRD. The production, to be directed by Joe Mantello, will begin previews Friday, February 5, and open on Thursday, March 10, at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street). BLACKBIRD will play an 18-week limited engagement through June 12, 2016.


BLACKBIRD tells the story of Una and Ray. Fifteen years earlier they had a relationship and haven’t set eyes on each other since. Now she’s found him again.

BLACKBIRD premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival before moving on to London’s West End where it won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in a production directed by Peter Stein. The drama was subsequently produced in New York by Manhattan Theatre Club in a production starring Jeff Daniels and Allison Pill, directed by Joe Mantello.

London’s Daily Telegraph hailed BLACKBIRD as “a shattering play,” adding, “I have rarely seen an audience watch a new work with such rapt attention. An extraordinary, no-holds-barred drama that both chills and thrills.” The Guardianagreed, describing BLACKBIRD as “A searing theatrical experience. A riveting study in sexual obsession that leaves one both shaken and stirred.” And Scotland’s Sunday Heraldsaid that “Harrower's drama positively explodes with unresolved, and possibly irresolvable, concerns . . . one of the most daring new plays of recent years.”

BLACKBIRD will have scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth, and lighting design by Brian MacDevitt.

BLACKBIRD will be produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin.

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Jeff Daniels received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Alan in God of Carnage in its 2009 Broadway debut. Mr. Daniels returned to the production in 2010 to assume the role of Michael, the other male lead in the Yasmina Reza play. His previous Broadway credits include Redwood Curtain, The Golden Age, Fifth of July (in which he also appeared Off-Broadway at the Circle Repertory Company), and Gemini. In addition to Blackbird, he has appeared Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in Lemon Sky (Drama Desk Award nomination); at Manhattan Theatre Club in Three Sisters; and, as a long-time member of the Circle Repertory Company, in their productions of Johnny Got His Gun (Obie Award, Drama Desk Award nomination), Two from the Late Show, Lulu, My Life, and The Farm. An Emmy Award winner (and three-time nominee) for his performance in the HBO series “The Newsroom,” Mr. Daniels is also known for his roles in such films as Terms of Endearment, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Arachnophobia, Dumb & Dumber, The Hours, and Good Night and Good Luck. Also a musician, songwriter, and playwright, Mr. Daniels has recorded several albums, authored over 15 plays, and is the founder of The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan. He will soon be seen in leading roles in the films The Martian and Steve Jobs, and recently completed production on The Divergent Series: Allegiant.

Michelle Williams is a three-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner. Her many film credits include Oz the Great and Powerful; Take This Waltz; My Week with Marilyn (Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations; Golden Globe Award and Independent Spirit Award); Blue Valentine (Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics’ Choice Award, and Independent Spirit Award nominations); Land of Plenty (Independent Spirit Award); Brokeback Mountain (Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations); Wendy and Lucy (Independent Spirit Award, Toronto Film Critics Association Award); Meek’s Cutoff; Shutter Island; Incendiary; Synedoche, New York; I’m Not There; The Hottest State; The Station Agent; and Me Without You. Her television credits include the HBO film “If These Walls Could Talk 2” and a six-year run as Jen Lindley on the hit television series “Dawson’s Creek.” Ms. Williams recently completed filming a new untitled Kelly Reichardt film, and Manchester-by-the-Sea, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan. She made her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in the recent Roundabout Theatre Company production of Cabaret. Her previous theatre credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Mike Leigh’s Smelling a Rat and Tracy Letts’s Killer Joe, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of The Cherry Orchard.

David Harrower, in addition to BLACKBIRD,is the author of the plays Ciara; Good With People; Calum’s Road; A Slow Air; 365; Dark Earth; Presence; Kill the Old, Torture Their Young; and Knives in Hens. His adaptations include Public Enemy, Government Inspector, Sweet Nothings (a new version of Schnitzler’s Liebelei), The Good Soul of Szechuan, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Ivanov, Woyzeck, Six Characters in Search of an Author, and Mary Stuart. Born in Edinburgh and a long-time resident of Glasgow, Mr. Harrower’s work has been presented internationally at the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, the Young Vic, the National Theatre of Scotland, the Traverse Theatre, the Bush Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Sydney Theatre Company, among others.

Joe Mantello is the winner of two Tony Awards for his direction of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out and the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical Assassins. His Broadway credits include An Act of God, Airline Highway, The Last Ship, Casa Valentina, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, The Other Place (also Off-Broadway), Other Desert Cities (also Off-Broadway), November, The Ritz, Three Days of Rain, The Odd Couple, Glengarry Glen Ross, Wicked, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Design for Living, Proposals, Love! Valour! Compassion! (also Off-Broadway), and What’s Wrong with this Picture?. In addition to BLACKBIRD, his Off-Broadway productions include The Humans; Dogfight; The Pride; The Receptionist; A Man of No Importance; The Vagina Monologues; The Mineola Twins; Corpus Christi; Mizlansky/Zilinsky, or ‘Schmucks’; The Santaland Diaries; Blue Window; and Three Hotels. As an actor, Mr. Mantello was nominated for two Tony Awards, for his performances in the recent revival of The Normal Heart and the Broadway production of Angels in America: Millenium Approaches.

Scenic Designer Scott Pask has won Tony Awards for his designs for The Book of Mormon, The Coast of Utopia [Parts 1 – 3], and The Pillowman. He has collaborated with director Joe Mantello on An Act of God, Airline Highway, Casa Valentina, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, November, The Ritz, Take Me Out, The Mineola Twins, and the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Blackbird. His recent design credits both on Broadway and off include Something Rotten!, The Visit, It’s Only a Play, When We Were Young and Unafraid, Pippin (Tony Award nomination), and the Public’s Delacorte Theatre productions of Measure for Measure and All’s Well That Ends Well.

Ann Roth’s costume design credits include Fish in the Dark, A Delicate Balance, This Is Our Youth, A Raisin in the Sun, Betrayal, Hurlyburly, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Singin’ in the Rain, Purlie, Waiting for Godot, and The Odd Couple. Ms. Roth won a Tony Award for her designs for The Nance, and has been nominated for her designs for The Book of Mormon, The Royal Family, The Crucifer of Blood, and The House of Blue Leaves. Her many film credits include The English Patient (Academy Award), Julie & Julia, The Reader, Doubt, Closer, The Village, Cold Mountain, The Hours (Academy Award nomination), The Talented Mr. Ripley (Academy Award nomination), The Birdcage, The Mambo Kings, Working Girl, Silkwood, Places in the Heart (Academy Award nomination), 9 to 5, Hair, Klute, and Midnight Cowboy. Her television credits include Angels in America” (Emmy Award nomination) and Mildred Pierce” (Emmy Award nomination). She is a recipient of the 2000 Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2011.

Brian MacDevitt designed the lighting for the recent productions of Fish in the Dark, A Delicate Balance, This Is Our Youth, A Raisin in the Sun, Betrayal, The Enchanted Island atthe Metropolitan Opera, Death of a Salesman, and The Book of Mormon (Tony Award). His other credits include Fences, A Behanding in Spokane, Race, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Tony Award). He has also received Tony Awards for Into the Woods, ThePillowman, and The Coast of Utopia [Part 1 - Voyage]. His dance credits include designs for Merce Cunningham’s Nearly Ninety, the Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, Tere O’Connor Dance, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and Nancy Bannon. Mr. MacDevitt is a member of Naked Angels and a faculty member at the University of Maryland.

Scott Rudin’s films include: Steve Jobs; Ex Machina; Top Five; While We’re Young; Inherent Vice; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Captain Phillips; Inside Llewyn Davis; Frances Ha; Moonrise Kingdom; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Moneyball; Margaret; The Social Network; True Grit; Greenberg; It’s Complicated; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Julie & Julia; Doubt; No Country for Old Men; There Will Be Blood; The Queen; Notes on a Scandal; Closer; Team America: World Police; School of Rock; The Hours; The Royal Tenenbaums; Zoolander; Sleepy Hollow; Wonder Boys; South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut; The Truman Show; In & Out; Ransom; The First Wives Club; Clueless; Nobody’s Fool; The Firm; Searching for Bobby Fischer; Sister Act; The Addams Family. His theatre credits include: Hamlet; Seven Guitars; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Chairs; The Blue Room; Closer; Amy’s View; Copenhagen; The Designated Mourner; The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?; Caroline, or Change; The Normal Heart; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Doubt; Faith Healer; The History Boys; Shining City; Stuff Happens; The Vertical Hour; The Year of Magical Thinking; Gypsy; God of Carnage; Fences; Jerusalem; The Motherf**ker With the Hat; The Book of Mormon; One Man, Two Guvnors; Death of a Salesman; The Testament of Mary; Betrayal; A Raisin in the Sun; This Is Our Youth; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; A Delicate Balance; Fish in the Dark; The Audience; The Iceman Cometh; Between Riverside and Crazy; Skylight; The Flick; A View from the Bridge.

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