Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway premiere of VENUS IN FUR by David Ives, directed by Walter Bobbie is currently playing at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) through December 18 only starring Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy.
Below is a recent Los Angeles Times feature on Arianda.
‘Venus in Fur’s’ Nina Arianda has cast a spell
The actress has been praised for her work in David Ives’ new play on Broadway about a sexy and surreal stage audition. Unstinting work went into her preparation to win the role.
By James C. Taylor,
Special to the Los Angeles Times
Reporting from New York ——
It takes more than good fortune to become a goddess. If you don’t think so, ask Nina Arianda, the 27-year-old actress whose performance in the new Broadway play “Venus in Fur” has evoked effusive praise from critics and theatergoers.
Arianda earned a plum role in the play after dazzling the “Venus’” playwright and director at a cattle-call audition that has already become the stuff of legend. The New York-born, New Jersey-raised performer was just a few months out of New York University’s graduate acting school when her agent sent her a copy of David Ives’ new play.
“I instantly fell in love with it,” Arianda recalled over tea at Sardi’s last week, “I was hooked to this woman from ‘go’ — and I was also very hungry and kind of dying to work.”
Ives is best known on Broadway for adapting the film “White Christmas” and Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?” for the stage. In fact, “Venus in Fur” started as a period adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel “Venus in Furs,” which he then rewrote as the current piece, a contemporary two-character play about a surreal and sexy audition for, yes, a stage adaptation of “Venus in Furs.”
When Ives showed the original script to director Walter Bobbie, “He told me, ‘I don’t think this works.’” But he liked the update much more, as did the off-Broadway Classic Stage Company, which planned a production for January 2010.
But by the time Arianda was reading the script, Ives and Bobbie were at the end of six months of what the playwright calls “despair.” The role of Vanda was proving difficult to cast, since the character morphs seamlessly from struggling artist to Victorian sexpot to timeless femme fatale who just might be the goddess of love.
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