F. Murray Abraham, whose international fame came by playing Italian composer Antonio Salieri in the film of "Amadeus," will step into the stockings of Italian composer Rossini, taking over for Richard Easton, in the New York City premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age. The cast change does not alter the first preview date, which remains Nov. 15 at New York City Center Stage I.
Manhattan Theatre Club announced that Tony Award winner Easton is leaving for personal reasons. Tony winner Walter Bobbie is directing the play by four-time Tony winner McNally. It focuses on another master of classical music — opera composer Vincenzo Bellini (played by Emmy Award nominee Lee Pace). The Off-Broadway opening night is Dec. 4.
Abraham returns to MTC after appearing in the Broadway play Mauritius. His theatre credits include The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta (in rep). He won the 1985 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Amadeus." He is a recurring character on TV's "The Good Wife."
Here's how MTC bills the work: "It's opening night of Vincenzo Bellini's (Emmy Award nominee Lee Pace) new opera I Puritani in Paris, and the Italian composer is determined to win the adulation of not only his audience, but his colleagues and rivals as well. When the curtain falls, will a thunderous ovation cement his prominence? Or has Bellini unwittingly composed his own swan song? Blending 21st-century language with the timeless beauty of 19th-century bel canto opera, Terrence McNally's new play portrays the final act of an artist whose desire for greatness has eclipsed all else."