Lolita Chakrabarti (Red Velvet)'s Life of Pi finishes its Broadway run at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre July 23. Based on Yann Martel's best-selling novel, Life of Pi began previews March 9 and opened March 30 following an Olivier-winning run in London's West End. The production, originally scheduled to continue through September 3, announced an early closing last month.
The story is set in motion by a cargo ship that sinks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, leaving behind five survivors in a lifeboat. Sixteen-year-old Pi is joined in a tense quest for survival by some unusual company: a hyena, a zebra, an oragutan, and a 450-pound Royal Begal tiger.
Uma Paranjpe succeeded Hiran Abeysekera in the title role, newly made female for Paranjpe. She is joined by Brian Thomas Abraham as Cook/Voice of “Richard Parker,” Rajesh Bose as Father, Avery Glymph as Father Martin/Russian Sailor/Rear Admiral Jackson, Mahira Kakkar as Nurse/Amma/Orange Juice, Kirstin Louie as Lulu Chen, Salma Qarnain as Mrs. Biology Kumar/Zaida Khan, Sathya Sridharan as Mamaji/Pandit-Ji, Daisuke Tsuji as Mr. Okamoto/Captain, and Sonya Venugopal as Rani, along with Nikki Calonge, Shiloh Goodin, Jon Hoche, Rowan Ian Seamis Magee, Jonathan David Martin, Betsy Rosen, Celia Mei Rubin, and Andrew Wilson as Royal Bengal tiger “Richard Parker.”
Director Max Webster (Henry V) leads a creative team that consists of Tony- and Olivier-winning set and costume designer Tim Hatley, puppet and movement director Finn Caldwell (Angels in America), Olivier-winning puppet designers Nick Barnes (Angels in America) and Caldwell, Olivier-winning video designer Andrzej Goulding (Eureka Day), Olivier-winning lighting designer Tim Lutkin (Back to the Future), and sound designer Carolyn Downing (Les Liaisons Dangereuses). Original music is by Andrew T Mackay (Henry V), and dramaturgy is by Jack Bradley.
The work's West End production took home five 2022 Olivier Awards, including Best Play and Best Supporting Actor, with the latter awarded collectively to the team of puppeteers who play the tiger. The play made its North American premiere ahead of the Broadway bow at American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.
The Broadway run was produced by Simon Friend, Daryl Roth, Hal Luftig, Mark Gordon, Playing Field, Tulchin/Bartner Productions, Gavin Kalin, Hunter Arnold, Hall Smalberg Winkler, 42nd.club, Elizabeth Armstrong, Eilene Davidson, Federman Jenen Productions, Susan Gallin, Independent Presenters Network, John Gore Organization, Kuhn Dodani, Harriet Leve, Mary Lu Roffe, Catherine Schreiber, Anthony Tang, Triple Threat Productions, American Repertory Theatre, and Sheffield Theatres. Aaron Lustbader and Hanna Osmolska served as executive producers.