Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal will return to Broadway in spring 2017 in a revival of Lanford Wilson’s award-winning 1987 drama “Burn This,” producers Stacey Mindich and Jessica R. Jenen announced Tuesday.
The production, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer, will begin performances in February for an official opening on March 6, 2017, as the first production in Ambassador Theatre Group’s newly acquired Hudson Theatre.
One of the essential plays about downtown New York in the raw and gritty 1980s, the combustible drama explores the spiritual and emotional isolation of Pale and Anna, two iconoclasts who are brought together in the wake of a life-changing event.
“Burn This” will be the first Broadway production at the Hudson in 50 years.
Built by Henry B. Harris, the Hudson Theatre opened in 1903 as one of New York City’s oldest Broadway showplaces. The 100-foot long lobby was the largest ever on Broadway at that time. Among the stars that have graced the Hudson’s stage are Douglas Fairbanks, William Holden, Helen Hayes, Edward G. Robinson and Dorothy Gish.
On Sept. 27, 1956, the first nationwide broadcast of “The Tonight Show” starring Steve Allen originated from the Hudson. It has served as a movie theater, rock club, and most recently as an event space for the adjacent Millennium Hotel. It was granted landmark status for both its internal and external features in 1987.
Last year, U.K.-based ATG signed a long-term lease with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels to refurbish the venue and return it to its prior use as a Broadway theater.
“I am honored to bring Lanford Wilson’s gorgeous and timeless play back to Broadway in a new production starring Jake Gyllenhaal, whose stage work has been exhilarating and who is a dream choice for this role,” Mayer said in a statement. “What a joy to reopen the historic Hudson Theatre. In the midst of an exquisite restoration, the intimate playhouse is the perfect home for this modern American classic.”
Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee for 2016’s “Brokeback Mountain,” made his Broadway debut in 2015 for the two-person drama “Constellations” opposite Ruth Wilson.