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Mark Rylance to bring 'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III' to Broadway

Broadway will get a concentrated dose of comedy and tragedy this fall – brought on by acclaimed British actor Mark Rylance.

The two-time Tony winner – formerly artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London – will star in Globe productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III, which will rotate in repertory for a 16-week engagement at New York’s Belasco Theatre, said producers Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis.

The productions first opened at the Globe last summer and later transferred to the West End; Rylance received rave reviews for his leading roles as "Twelfth Night's" lovesick, wealthy countess Olivia and the titular, scheming Richard III. British actor-author Stephen Fry will make his Broadway acting debut opposite Rylance, playing Malvolio, in "Twelfth Night." Tim Carroll, who directed the London productions, will direct on Broadway as well.

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The double bill marks the first time that productions from Shakespeare’s Globe will be performed on Broadway. They’ll be staged in the most traditional Shakespearean way, with an all-male cast, live musicians on traditional Elizabethan instruments and copious, scattered candlelight; the actors will change into their costumes and get their makeup on onstage, before the show, as they would have in Shakespearean times.

Shakespeare’s Globe is known for affordable tickets; and producers have said they will make more than 20,000 tickets priced at $25 each available throughout the Broadway run.

Rylance is a seasoned Shakespearean actor, formerly with the Royal Shakespeare Company; he has also won Tonys for roles on Broadway in 2008’s “Boeing-Boeing” and 2011’s “Jerusalem.” But he has never actually performed Shakespeare on Broadway.

The double bill opens Nov. 10.  Previews begin October 15.

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