“Three Sisters,” a drama by Anton Chekhov, is shaping up to be one of the starrier stage productions planned for the depth of winter in New York.
Classic Stage Company, the New York theater that is producing the play, is finishing up casting before rehearsals are scheduled to begin in early December. Previously announced cast members include husband-and-wife Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal as illicit lovers Vershinin and Masha. On Friday, CSC announced that Jessica Hecht, fresh off her turn as a daffy urologist on HBO’s “Bored to Death,” will play eldest sister Olga.
Brian Kulick, CSC’s artistic director, said he planned the play around the holidays because many TV shows and movies wouldn’t be filming then.
Kulick said Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard committed to the production based partly on that mid-winter timing. “They said, ‘Let’s just say we’re going to do it and everyone hold your breath and cross your fingers nothing comes up,’ and I’m knocking on wood as I’m speaking to you right now,” he said.
Gyllenhaal is currently in England wrapping up “Hysteria,” a movie about the modern vibrator. Sarsgaard is awaiting the June release of his next film, “Green Lantern.”
“Three Sisters,” set to run from Jan. 12 through Feb. 20, reunites the team behind “Uncle Vanya,” which ran at CSC last year to mixed reviews. Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard starred in that production, directed by Austin Pendleton, who is returning to helm “Three Sisters.” Another “Uncle Vanya” cast member, Mamie Gummer, was set to play Irina in “Three Sisters” but withdrew amid a scheduling conflict with an upcoming ABC series.
Earlier this year, stage veteran Hecht played opposite Scarlett Johansson in Broadway’s “A View from the Bridge.” Both were nominated for supporting actress Tony Awards; Ms. Johansson won.