Robin Williams, Oscar award winning actor, is preparing for his dramatic debut on Broadway in “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” a wartime play, in spring 2011 according to a close production source. Williams will play the tiger in the dark comedic drama by Rajiv Joseph, which was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama.
Previously “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” has played at Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles in 2009 before it moved to Mark Taper Forum earlier this year. The play, according to the website for the theater, throws together a brooding tiger, tormented Iraqi and two homesick soldiers into a situation that is revelatory, lyrical, soul wrenching, macabre and hysterical.
Moises Kaufman (33 Variations, I Am My Own Wife) directed both of the show’s Los Angeles productions. The cast featured Necar Zadegan, Sheila Vand, Hrach Titizian, Kevin Tighe, Arian Moayed, Brad Fleischer and Glenn Davis.
Williams, from his beginnings during the 1970s as a stand-up comic, has created a career for himself that is incredibly diverse as both a dramatic and comedic actor. In 1988 he won an Academy Award for his role in Good Will Hunting. He had three previous nominations for The Fisher King, Dead Poets Society and Good Morning, Vietnam. Other notable credits for Williams include Night at the Museum, Insomnia, One Hour Photo, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Patch Adams, Deconstructing Harry, Hamlet, The Birdcage, Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, Toys, Aladdin, Hook, Awakenings, Moscow on the Hudson, The World According to Garp and Mork & Mindy. “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” will be the first appearance for Williams on the dramatic stage since playing Estragon in “Waiting for Godot” in 1988 at Lincoln Center. Williams appeared on Broadway previously in 2002 at Broadway Theatre for a stand-up comedy engagement.