Michael Riedel reports in The New York Post today that Frank Langella will return to Broadway next season in MAN AND BOY, a "long-forgotten but all too-topical play about a corrupt financier." Langella took part in a staged reading of the show, which is aiming to play at the American Airlines Theatre in the fall.
MAN AND BOY is a play by Terence Rattigan that was first performed at The Queen's Theatre, London, and Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York, in 1963. It was poorly received, but revived in 2005 at the Duchess Theatre, London, with David Suchet as the lead part, Gregor Antonescu, to great acclaim. It was also turned into a 1971 film, starring Bill Cosby and George Spell.
Riedel writes that "Rattigan based "Man and Boy" on the Bernie Madoff of the early 20th century -- Ivar Kreuger, a Swedish tycoon who hobnobbed with celebrities and politicians, including Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Franklin Roosevelt. Kreuger built a vast financial empire in the 1920s, which turned out to be a giant Ponzi scheme. He and many of his investors were ruined when the stock market crashed in 1929. He shot and killed himself in 1932. In "Man and Boy," the corrupt financier has a troubled relationship with his son, a musician who rebels against his father's greed by becoming a socialist. Rattigan gave the story a homosexual twist. Desperate, the financier tries to lure a rich gay banker to prop up his teetering enterprise."
Frank Langella's career off-Broadway was launched with an Obie Award in 1965 for his performance in poet-playwright Robert Lowell's The Old Glory: Benito Cereno. His other major off-Broadway productions include Edmond Rostand's Cyrano, Arthur Miller's After the Fall, John Webster's The White Devil, Heinrich von Kleist's The Prince of Homburg, Andre Gide's The Immortalist and Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Langella's triumphs on Broadway include Tony Awards for Edward Albee's Seascape, for Turgeneve's Fortune's Fool and most recently for his role as President Richard Nixon in the New York production of Frost/Nixon. He also received a Tony nomination for his performance in Belber's Match and Hamilton Dean's Dracula and has starred on Broadway in productions of Strindgerg's The Father, Coward's Present Laughter and Design for Living, Shaffer's Amadeus, Rabe's Hurlyburly, Nichols' Passion, Marowitz's Sherlock's Last Case, Gibson's A Cry of Players and Lorca's Yerma among others.
Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Langella studied acting at Syracuse Universiry before beginning his professional career in New York. He got his first break on screen when he was cast in Frank Perry's 1970 drama Diary of a Mad Housewife, co-starring with Richard Benjamin and Carrie Snodgress. The film earned him a Golden Globe nomination and an award from the National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actor. That same year, he starred in Mel Brooks The Twelve Chairs. A successful remake of Dracula, directed by John Badham, brought him to pop-culture stardom at that decade.
Some of his other past films are George Clooney's Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck, the box-office hit Superman Returns and the drama Starting Out in the Evening. He has also starred in Adrian Lyne's controversial Lolita, the hit comedy Dave, Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, a humorous tribute to summer stock, Those Lips, Those Eyes; the touching drama I'm Losing You; David Duchovny's House of D; and The Ninth Gate, directed by Roman Polanski.
On television, Langella received an Emmy nomination for his work on I, Leonardo: A Journey of the Mind. Other major work on television includes PBS' productions of Eccentricities of a Nightingale and Chekhov's The Seagull; ABC's The Beast; HBO's Doomsday Gun; and Vonnegut's Monkey House for Showtime, which earned him a CableACE Award. He also starred in all 10 episodes of the short-lived but widely praised HBO series Unscripted.