He’ll be making his Broadway debut in the Eugene O’Neill play, Hughie, next spring. Directed by Tony victor Michael Grandage (who is now rehearsing Nicole Kidman for her stage return in the West End’s Photograph 51), the revival will play a limited engagement in the spring of 2016 at a Shubert Theatre to be announced. Set in a midtown hotel, the play – essentially a long monologue – centers on the hustler Erie Smith (Whitaker), who bombards the hotel’s new night clerk with stories of his past and of the time he spent with the previous night clerk, Hughie, who has recently died.
For Hughie, Grandage reunites the entire Tony-winning creative team behind the 2010 Broadway production of Red, including Christopher Oram (sets and costumes), Neil Austin (lighting), and Adam Cork (sound design). Upcoming movie projects include Star Wars: Rogue One.
Additional casting will be announced at a later date. Whitaker (Southpaw, The Last King Of Scotland, Bird, etc.) will play Erie Smith, the role created by Jason Robards Jr.in its 1964 Broadway premiere, over a decade after the Nobel Prize laureate’s death.
In addition to Red, which starred Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne, Grandage’s Broadway directing credits include Frost/Nixon with Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, Hamlet with Jude Law, and The Cripple of Inishmaan with Daniel Radcliffe.