(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/27; via Pam Green.)

Cate Blanchett, one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, will make her Broadway debut next season in a new adaptation of a lesser-known Chekhov play.

Ms. Blanchett will star as a Russian widow in “The Present,” which reimagines Chekhov’s untitled first play, often called “Platonov,” set in the 1990s. In the play a group of friends gathers at a country house outside Moscow to celebrate the 40th birthday of Ms. Blanchett’s character, Anna Petrovna. A Chekhovian tangle of vodka-fueled regret unspools, although in this version with considerably more humor than one might expect.

“It’s about life, basically, and the choices that a group of people make,” said the play’s director, John Crowley, who also directed the movie “Brooklyn,” which is a nominee for a best picture Oscar this year. Mr. Crowley, an Irish filmmaker and stage director, has directed three Broadway plays, “A Behanding in Spokane,” “A Steady Rain” and “The Pillowman.”


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