Academy Award winners Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon are set to star in the first-ever Broadway revival of Eugene Ionesco’s tragicomedy Exit the King, according to Variety. Featuring a translation by Rush and Neil Armfield, who’ll also direct, the new production marks Rush’s Broadway debut and a return for Sarandon, who hasn’t appeared on a Broadway stage since 1972. Previews begin at the Barrymore Theatre on March 7 for a limited-engagement run opening March 26 and closing June 14.
Written in 1962, Exit the King follows the slow death of a monarch whose reign has outlasted both its welcome and its allotted time. The play premiered at the Lyceum Theatre in 1968, where it played 47 performances, featuring Richard Easton, Patricia Conolly, Pamela Payton-Wright and Nicholas Martin. Exit the King was filmed twice for French television, in 1978 and in 2006. In 2007, the Australian theater troupe Company B mounted productions in Sydney and Melbourne, both helmed by Armfield and starring Rush.
Rush earned an Oscar for his performance in the 1996 movie Shine and was nominated for 1998’s Shakespeare in Love and Quills in 2000. He won a Golden Globe in 2004 for starring in HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. His other notable film credits include Oscar and Lucinda, Elizabeth, Frida, Munich, Finding Nemo voice, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Onstage, Rush has worked frequently in his native Australia as both an actor and director since 1972, covering everything from Shakespeare to Chekhov to Mamet.
Sarandon also won an Oscar in 1996, for her performance in Dead Man Walking, following four previous nominations 1982’s Atlantic City, 1992’s Thelma & Louise, 1993’s Lorenzo’s Oil and 1995’s The Client. Her notable film credits include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunger, The Witches of Eastwick, Bull Durham, Bob Roberts, Light Sleeper, Stepmom, Igby Goes Down, Enchanted, In the Valley of Elah, Speed Racer and the upcoming The Lovely Bones. Sarandon debuted on Broadway in 1972, when she played multiple roles in Gore Vidal’s An Evening with Richard Nixon. Off-Broadway, she earned Drama Desk nominations for her appearances in 1980’s A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking and 1983’s Extremities. She most recently appeared onstage in the Flea Theatre's off-Broadway production of The Guys.
The design team for Exit the King includes Dale Ferguson sets & costumes, Damien Cooper lighting and Russell Goldsmith sound. John Rodgers is the Composer.Exit the King will be produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson, Robert Fox, Howard Panter, Tulchin/Bartner, Scott Rudin and The Shubert Organization.