Is He Dead?, a new comedy by master American novelist and satirist Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore, and starring Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz will open on Broadway in the the fall.
Richly intermingling elements of burlesque, farce, and social satire with a wry look at the world market in art, Is He Dead? centers on a group of poor artists in Barbizon, France, who stage the death of a friend to drive up the price of his paintings. In order to make this scheme succeed, the artists hatch some hilarious plots involving cross-dressing, a full-scale fake funeral, lovers’ deceptions, and much more. The University of California Press edition was published in 2003 and was edited by Shelley Fisher Fishkin. In Fishkin’s estimation, it is “a champagne cocktail of a play–not too dry, not too sweet, with just the right amount of bubbles and buzz.”
Is He Dead? will open on November 29, 2007 at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street, New York, New York). Previews begin November 8.
The Associated Press recently ran a story about the production, which ran in the International Herald Tribune.