Ian McKellen on Stage
One Night Only
November 5, 2019 at
The Hudson Theatre
New York City
in support of Only Make Believe
Event is Sold Out
It's 52 years since I first acted on Broadway in the Russian play The Promise. Traffic was still driving in both directions 'round Times Square, and 42nd Street was a no-go area for tentative Limeys like me. Broadway's glamour was a little tawdry but I was entranced by the sense of community amongst the troupers, the hoofers, the stars and the understudies who, for the most part, welcomed another import from London. But the Cold War prevailed and the critics and the audiences were indifferent to an Anglo-Russian import. The Promise failed to live up to its title after 27 performances.
In 1980, I was back, in Amadeus, the Tony-strewn hit by the dear departed Peter Shaffer. Again it was the bonhomie from the company and the neighbouring theatres which I treasure the most. And the most appreciative audience in the world.
Since then I've been back regularly with solo shows, Strindberg & Mirren, Chekov and (most fun) with Patrick Stewart in Sean Mathias's season of Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land. All in all, it seems appropriate that I bring my current celebration of theatre to the heart of New York City, even if just once.
I'm interrupting the run of my show in London, to honour a promise to Only Make Believe and appear at their annual fund-raising gala on November 4th (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre). And it's a chance also to do the Show itself in NYC and re-connect with friends, particularly the pioneers who run Only Make Believe. I've seen the effect of their professional entertainers on an audience of kids in long-stay hospitals. Check out OMB. The proceeds of the 5 November show at the Hudson Theatre will help OMB extend their reach, beyond NYC and Washington DC. I hope to see you there. — Ian McKellen, 19 June 2019