Brooklyn Academy of Music in association with American Repertory Theater will present the New York premiere of Zadie Smith's The Wife of Willesden. Indhu Rubasingham will direct the Off-Broadway production in the Harvey Theater April 1-16, 2023.
Smith (On Beauty) has adapted the work from Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath," a story from the 14th century collection The Canterbury Tales, for her debut play which arrives following a sold-out run in London. Clare Perkins will star in the ensemble show's cast as Alvita, a Jamaican-born British woman and local legend who takes over a North West London pub where she reigns. In her mid-50s, Alvita has much life experience—including five marriages, children, and more. Smith has put a modern translation spin on Chaucer's work, showcasing wit, delving frankly into sexuality, and exploring the human talent for telling elaborate stories.
The show will have another run at London's Kiln Theatre December 14-February 11, 2023 with an engagement at American Repertory Theatre at the Loeb Drama Center in Massachusetts to follow February 25-March 18.
A second New York premiere was also announced for BAM's 2023 season. Cie Focus and Cie Chaliwaté's Dimanche will play May 3-13. As a family weathers a big storm from inside their small house, they cling—absurdly—to their family traditions. Meanwhile, three nature journalists try to document the last living species on Earth.
BAM previously announced the first major New York revival of Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window starring Golden Globe winners Oscar Isaac (Scenes from a Marriage, Hamlet, We Live Here) and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Othello, The Big Knife). Obie and Lortel winner Anne Kauffman (The Thugs, Mary Jane) will direct the work which will begin previews in the Harvey Theater February 4, 2023 ahead of a February 23 opening night. Full casting and the creative team will be announced at a later date.
For tickets and more information, visit BAM.org.