Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow to play the Clintons on Broadway in Hillary and Clinton
Oscar-nominated Lady Bird star Laurie Metcalf is perching herself amid the 2008 Democratic primaries alongside two-time Academy Award-nominee John Lithgow for her next major role.
Producer Scott Rudin announced Thursdaythat the pair — both of whom have won two Tony Awards — will star in the Broadway production Hillary and Clinton, a new play by Tony-nominated playwright Lucas Hnath (Metcalf’s A Doll’s House, Part 2) that will examine Bill and Hillary Clinton’s private life behind closed doors in New Hampshire, where their conflicting views clash as the latter’s first presidential campaign falls apart under the guidance of strategist Mark Penn.
“Lucas’ play is that rare kind of blow-the-door-off-its-hinges new work that I will always respond to and want to present,” Rudin told The Hollywood Reporter of the upcoming drama in an article published Thursday morning. “It’s a political play — but not in the way I think anybody will expect. It treats the Clintons like Shakespeare treated real people in his history plays — it is both fundamentally truthful and also wildly imaginative. It’s not in any way a docudrama or a work of nonfiction but rather an exploration of power and how it works, not only in the canvas of a political campaign but inside an enduring marriage.”
“It’s funny and smart and intensely theatrical and, I think, very moving,” he added. “It has that particular kind of energy of the best backstage dramas — it’s a deep dive into a pivotal moment we think we know a lot about, but that in fact we actually know very little about. I found it both shrewd and, in its way, revelatory in the way it posits a behind-the-curtain look at how history might have occurred.”
Joe Mantello, who also has two Tonys, will direct, with previews beginning on March 16, 2019 ahead of an April 18 opening, while Tony- and Oscar-winning costume designer Ann Roth (The Hours) will craft looks for the play. A host venue for the production has yet to be announced.