Scarlett Johansson, last seen on Broadway in the 2010 production of Arthur Miller′s A View From a Bridge, will be returning to Broadway. Johansson will play Maggie the Cat in Tennessee Williams′ popular play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, at the Richard Rogers Theatre, a role she has been ″after for some time,″ according to the New York Times.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has seen three revivals since its original Broadway debut in 1955. It was revived in 1990 and 2003, featuring many Tony nominees. It was revived again in 2008 when it was produced with an all-black cast, directed by Debbie Allen, and featuring Anika Noni Rose, Terrence Howard, James Earl Jones, and Phylicia Rashad. The popular 1958 film adaptation starred Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie. The play received a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1955, and many Tony Awards , as well as a Lawrence Olivier Award in 2010 for the Best Revival of a Play. In addition to the four Broadway revivals, the show has also seen productions in Stratford, Connecticut in 1974, London’s National Theatre in 1988, and the Kennedy Center in 2004.
Starring alongside Johansson in this production, set to open for previews on December 18, 2012 with an official opening night of January 17, 2013, are Benjamin Walker, Ciaran Hinds, and Tony Award-winner Debra Monk. Walker scored the role of alcoholic husband, Brick, after beating out actors Chris Pine and Jeremy Renner. Hinds is playing Brick’s plantation-owner father, Big Daddy, alongside Monk as Big Mama. The original Broadway production starred Barbara Bel Geddes as Maggie, Ben Gazzara and Jack Lord as Brick, Burl Ives and Mildred Dunnock as Big Daddy and Big Mama.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof explores themes such as social mores, greed, superficiality, repression, sexual desire, and death. Johansson’s character, an unhappy woman, “flaunts her sexuality in an attempt to draw her repressed homosexual husband, Brick, back to the marriage bed,” according to the Chicago Tribune. In the New York Times, critic Ben Brantley raved about Johansson′s Tony-winning performance as Catherine in Miller′s A View From a Bridge. As Brantley described, “Ms. Johansson melts into her character so thoroughly that her nimbus of celebrity disappears.”
This production will be directed by Tony-winning director and choreographer Rob Ashford, who recently staged the Broadway production of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Daniel Radcliffe. The show’s production team includes Stuart Thompson as producer. The rest of the team has not yet been announced.
Johansson is beyond excited to be a part of this cast and this production. As she told the Hindustan Times, “I am so thrilled to return to Broadway and feel incredibly fortunate to be doing so with Rob Ashford and such gifted actors.”