Spotlight - Boys Of Broadway

Vanity Fair, June 1995                     Photo
By Susan Kittenplan

Facing the lack of dramatic roles on the Great White Way is part of the basic curriculum for today's stage actor. But these seven young men are making their Broadway debuts this season, a seminar only a talented few can take.

"I see the whole process of theater as a class," says Jude Law, who turned down being this season's Royal Shakespeare Company Romeo to co-star in 'Indiscretions' with Kathleen Turner. Damian Lewis, who is now playing Laertes opposite Ralph Fiennes' Broadway version of the Danish Prince, just finished his own run as Hamlet in London.

"Acting was the only thing I could get up in the morning for," says Rufus Sewell, who was the highlight of Brian Friel's short-lived 'Translations' (as well as last year's 'Middlemarch' on the BBC and PBS.) His first professional acting job was touring jails: "Maximum-security prisoners are the most alive audiences you'll ever play to."

Allesandro Nivola, who starred in Master Harold ... and the Boys in Seattle while at Yale, is currently playing opposite Helen Mirren as the simple tutor in Ivan Turgenev's 'A Month In The Country'. N.U.U. graduate Billy Crudup portrays a more manipulative tutor in Tom Stoppard's 'Arcadia'. Malcolm Gets, a Yale School of Drama alum, trained as a concert pianist until age 15, and says speaking verse in his critically acclaimed performance in 'The Moliere Comedies' "agreed with my musical bent."

Juilliard-trained John Benjamin Hickey has survived the scrutiny of binoculars during frontal-nudity scenes in 'Love! Valour! Compassion!' Hickey turned down an appearance in the film Dolores Claiborne to stay in the Terrence McNally play while it was still Off Broadway. "The brass ring of L.A. is tempting," he acknowledges."but nothing compares with the joy of collaborating in new works - it's hard to come by, and when it does, it's the very thing that gives you confidence.

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