Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker will make his Broadway debut starring in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s short, two-person drama “Hughie” in spring 2016.
Tony winner Michael Grandage (“Red”) will direct the production, which will play in a Schubert theater to be named later. Darren Bagert, Michael Grandage Company and the Schubert Organization will produce.
Whitaker will play “Erie” Smith, a drunken, small-time hustler and longtime resident of a midtown hotel on the West Side of Manhattan who mourns the recent death of the hotel’s night clerk, Hughie, with tall tales of his past glory days.
The second role in the play, the hotel’s new night clerk, has yet to be cast.
This is the fourth version of “Hughie” to hit Broadway. Jason Robards originated the role of Erie in the original 1964 production. Ben Gazzara won a Tony for the role in 1975, and Al Pacino starred in a 1996 revival at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
Whitaker, who won the Academy Award in 2007 for playing Uganda dictator Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” has appeared regularly on screen since his breakout role in Amy Heckerling’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
He recently won critical acclaim for his performance as Jake Gyllenhaal’s boxing trainer in Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw” and narrating the Sundance darling “Dope.” He is currently filming Gareth Edwards’ “Star Wars: Rogue One” opposite Felicity Jones and Mads Mikkelsen.