Norbert Leo Butz
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Norbert Leo Butz
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz will return to Broadway in Is He Dead?, a comedy written in 1898 by Mark Twain and adapted by David Ives, to begin previews at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on November 8. The production, which will open on November 29, will be directed by Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

The play, which is inspired by the posthumous bidding war that broke out between the U.S. and France over Jean-Francois Millet's painting "The Angelus," concerns a group of poor artists who stage the death of their mentor in order to drive up the price of his paintings. Ives' previous work includes All in the Timing, Polish Joke, and the concert adaptations of 18 musicals for City Center Encores!

The creative team includes Peter J. Davison (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), and Peter Kaczorowski (lighting). Blakemore made history by winning the Tony for Best Director of a Play (for Copenhagen) and Best Director of a Musical (for Kiss Me, Kate) in the same year. His other credits include Noises Off, City of Angels, and Deuce.

Butz, who will play Millet, won the Tony for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. His other New York stage credits include Wicked, Thou Shalt Not, The Last 5 Years, and Buicks. He also played the Emcee in the national tour of Cabaret, for which he won numerous regional awards.