Emily Mann on Herringbone
Dear McCarter Patrons,
What a way to begin! It is with great excitement and anticipation that I welcome you to the 2008-2009 season. Our opening production of Tom Cone, Skip Kennon, and Ellen Fitzhugh’s Herringbone unites two of the finest theater artists in the English-speaking world—Roger Rees and BD Wong.
Roger has accurately described BD as a “quadruple threat”—not only a talented actor, singer, and dancer, but also, in Roger’s words, a “riveting human presence on stage.” Certainly, this is no surprise to anyone who saw, as I did, BD’s bravura performance as Song Liling in M. Butterfly, for which he became the first actor in history to receive all five major New York Theater awards.
Roger Rees is not only an extraordinary director, but he, too, is a consummate performer, best known to our audiences for his astounding performance in the title role of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s milestone production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. It earned him both an Olivier and a Tony Award, and made him a star in the American theater. A virtuosic actor of both classic and modern dramatic roles both here and in England, it is fitting that Roger Rees directs BD Wong in a piece that demands a tour de force performance.
It was at Williamstown last summer that Roger and BD first joined forces to mount a small studio-theater production of Herringbone to critical acclaim. It gives me great pleasure to host them both here now at McCarter to further explore and expand upon their work with all the support McCarter Theater can offer.
Herringbone is a play that celebrates the transformational possibilities of the theater. I hope you will take great pleasure in this exquisitely bizarre and theatrically inventive show-business tale. Please welcome Roger Rees and BD Wong to the Berlind stage. What a joy to have these two theater dynamos kick off our new season!