The Guthrie Theater today announced complete casting for its world premiere of the bittersweet romance The Primrose Path by Crispin Whittell based upon the novel Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev. The production will be directed by Roger Rees and will feature actors Kyle Fabel (Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention; Off-Broadway: A Free Man of Color) as Theodore Lavretsky, Suzy Kohane (Acadia Repertory Theatre; University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program) as Liza and Sally Wingert (Broadway/West End, London: La Bête; Guthrie: Other Desert Cities, Appomattox) as Maria.
The story of Lavretsky, who returns to his run-down estate in Russia to escape from his life in Paris, The Primrose Path is a tale of passion and change that combines wit and humor with a profound and compelling romance. After Lavretsky meets the young and beautiful Liza, whose grace and spirituality captivate his previously jaded spirit, he is torn between the weight of his past and an optimistic vision that may or may not come to pass.
The Primrose Path also features Christian L. Bardin (The War Within/All's Fair, The Moving Company; University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program) as A Maid from Mtsensk, Candace Barrett Birk (Guthrie: Long Day's Journey into Night (understudy), Guthrie Lead Teaching Artist; Milwaukee Repertory Theater) as Martha, Tom Bloom (Guthrie: Oedipus; Broadway: Cyrano, Henry IV) as Lemm, Nathaniel Fuller (Guthrie: Embers, Much Ado About Nothing) as The Retainer at Vasilyevskoye, Hugh Kennedy (Guthrie: Arsenic and Old Lace, The Two Gentlemen of Verona) as Panshin, Ann Michels (Guthrie: Roman Holiday, She Loves Me) as A Lady from St. Petersburg and Jim Stanek (Guthrie: Roman Holiday; Broadway: The Story of My Life, Lestat) as Mikhalevich.
Roger Rees, a Tony Award-winning actor (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby), is also known for roles in the television series "Cheers" and "The West Wing" and is the former Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Rees was nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for Broadway's Peter and the Starcatcher.
"This was Turgenev's second novel, and his most popular," says Rees. "Lavretsky is a wounded and embarrassed man, which of course can be very appealing. It's a story in which the leading character needs a hug."
The Primrose Path is adapted by Crispin Whittell, who also penned the current adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol that has played to great success at the Guthrie the past three seasons.
"I remember going to see Out of Africa and loving it," says Whittell. "Along with the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the films Dangerous Liaisons and The English Patient. I wanted to write a big, passionate and romantic love story. And this is it."
The artistic team includes Neil Patel (Set Designer), Fabio Toblini (Costume Designer), Jeff Croiter (Lighting Designer), Wayne Barker (Composer), C. Andrew Mayer (Sound Designer), Michael Lupu (Dramaturg), Andrew Wade (Voice and Dialect Coach), Chris A. Code (Stage Manager), Justin Hossle (Assistant Stage Manager) and Natalie Novacek (Assistant Director).
The Primrose Path begins preview performances on April 27, opens May 3 and continues through June 15, 2013 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage at the Guthrie Theater. Single tickets start at $29 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.