Cate Blanchett Hits The Stage In Sydney Theatre Company's "Uncle Vanya"
Hollywood favorite Cate Blanchett returns to the New York stage in a revival of her husband's translation of "Uncle Vanya." NY1’s Frank DiLella filed the following report.
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With five Academy Award nominations and one Oscar win to her name, it's no doubt that Cate Blanchett reigns as one of the world's most gifted actresses. While she's widely known for her work on film, the statuesque performer never strays far from the stage.
Blanchett and her husband, writer and director Andrew Upton, are currently in town with the Sydney Theatre Company's production of "Uncle Vanya." The pair, who has been serving as the company's artistic heads since 2008, brings the Anton Chekhov classic to the city after a premiere down under in 2010. Blanchett stars as Yelena in her husband's new adaptation of "Uncle Vanya," which is currently part of the 2012 Lincoln Center Festival.
“For me the importance was not so much to play Yelena but to be part of the ensemble. That was my drive,” Blanchett says.
Blanchett and Upton's journey with "Uncle Vanya" began to germinate after they experienced another Chekhov play at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2009: a production of "Ivanov," directed by Hungarian artist Tamás Ascher, who is now at the helm of "Uncle Vanya.”
“We approached him thinking he’ll never say yes because he doesn't know us, he doesn't know the company. And he said yes,” Blanchett says.
“He was very, very insistent that I pay very close attention to the actual structure of the Russian senses,” Upton says.
In recent years, Blanchett has been seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on the New York stage playing Hedda Gabler and faded beauty Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire."
“They’re not museum pieces and for me, that’s the challenge when you’re doing a classic. It’s through performing it you understand why these things live now,” Blanchett says.
And while the pair will officially step down from their post as Sydney Theatre Company heads in 2013, Blanchett says she hopes to eventually make her Broadway debut.
“I’d love to,” she says. “Yeah, I’d absolutely love to.”
"Uncle Vanya" is now playing at City Center through July 28. For more information, log on to www.lincolncenterfestival.org.