‘Heisenberg’ Goes West, Mary-Louise Parker Brings Broadway’s Sexiest Play to Mark Taper Forum
Mary-Louise Parker’s performance in the play “Heisenberg” is being called the role of her life, and it looks like she’s having the time of her life. Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group is presenting the Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of “Heisenberg” to the Mark Taper Forum for their 50th Anniversary Season. Written by Simon Stephens, who won a Tony Award and two Olivier Awards, “Heisenberg” is being touted as a sexy and brainy play. Center Theatre Group will preview the new play at the Taper on June 28. The opening is set for July 6, and it runs through Aug. 6, 2017.
“Heisenberg” was directed by Drama Desk Award winner Mark Brokaw (“The Lyons,” “How I Learned to Drive”), who directed “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “The Lyons,” “After Miss Julie,” “The Constant Wife,” “Cry-Baby,” and “Reckless” on Broadway. “Heisenberg” stars 2017 Tony-nominated Best Actor Denis Arndt (“The Practice,” ”Picket Fences,” “Basic Instinct”) as Alex, and Parker (Proof, Weeds), a Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe winner, as Georgie. This is Parker’s eighth production with Manhattan Theatre Club.
British playwright Stephens wrote the National Theatre’s stage adaptation of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which won a Tony. It will be revived at the Ahmanson Theatre from Aug. 2 through Sept. 10, 2017. Stephens adapted “A Doll’s House” for the Young Vic, which transferred to New York in 2014. His adaptation of Mark Haddon novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” ran on Broadway for two years and won the Tony Award for Best New Play in 2015. He wrote the plays “Harper Regan” and “Bluebird,” which were staged in New York at the Atlantic Theater Company. His “Punk Rock” was staged by MCC.
The nonprofit Manhattan Theatre Club, which commissioned the play, is led by Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove. Their productions brought home 20 Tony Awards and six Pulitzer Prizes. “Heisenberg” made its world premiere in 2015 as part of The Studio at Stage II—Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series. It sold out quickly. The play moved to MTC’s Broadway flagship, the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street), the next season.
The romantic comedy opens at a crowded London train station, where the impetuous young Georgie kisses the neck of a much older and far more reserved stranger named Alex. This sparks a life-changing game. Deadline wrote that the playwright updates and freshens “every cliché of the August-December love affair,” resulting in “the most romantic, not to mention sexiest, show in town.” Ben Brantley of The New York Times called it suspenseful and thrilling, “a probing work that considers the multiplicity of alternatives that could shape our lives at every moment.”
Two chairs, two tables, two actors, what else do you need for an evening of reflective romantic comedy? Mark Wendland designed the sets, Michael Krass designed the costumes, Austin R. Smith designed the lighting, and David Van Tieghem designed the sound.