Freddie Prinze, Klein & Burns Form New Youth CastDate: 13 December 2002
Young American screen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr will make his West End debut alongside fellow Hollywood young guns Chris Klein and Heather Burns in of This Is Our Youth. They will form the fourth high-profile cast in the production, which reopened at the Garrick Theatre on 20 November 2002 (previews from 13 November).
From 16 January 2003, Prinze, Klein and Burns will take over from current cast members Kieran Culkin, Colin Hanks and Alison Lohman as, respectively, Warren, Dennis and Jessica in Kenneth Lonergan's tragi-comedy about a wild weekend in the lives of three affluent college-aged kids hanging out in drugged-up squalor in early 1980s Manhattan. Now in its second season, This Is Our Youth has extended to 15 March 2003.
In its first London season in spring 2002, the play attracted two successive sets of glittering Hollywood movie imports - Hayden Christensen, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin, followed by Matt Damon, Casey (brother of Ben) Affleck and Summer (sister of River and Joaquin) Phoenix. The plan going forward is feature regularly refreshed casts of young film stars committed to limited West End stints.
Freddie Prinze Jr (pictured), son of the late American comedian, has starred in films including She's All That, Down to You, Summer Catch, I Know What You Did Last Summer and, alongside his wife, Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar, Scooby Doo. Klein's screen credits include American Pie, Election, We Were Soldiers and Kevin Spacey's new film The United States of Leland.
Burns has appeared alongside Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality and the upcoming Two Weeks Notice. She is also an accomplished stage actress, having recently received critical acclaim in the New York production of Lonergan's Lobby Hero.
This Is Our Youth was first seen in New York in 1996, when it was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best New Play. The London production - directed by Rebecca Gatward and Laurence Boswell and designed by Jeremy Herbert, with lighting by Adam Silverman - has recently been nominated for two Whatsonstage.com 2003 Theatregoers' Choice Awards for Best New Comedy and London Newcomer of the Year (for original cast member Jake Gyllenhaal).
- by Terri Paddock