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‘Prayer for the French Republic’ announces initial casting

The Manhattan Theatre Club production will welcome returning actors from the Off-Broadway production in addition to new company members.

(L-R) Anthony Edwards, Francis Benhamou, Aria Shahghasemi (Credit: Mare Winningham, James Hartley and Courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown)

The upcoming Broadway production of Joshua Harmon’s play “Prayer for the French Republic” has set initial casting. Tony Award winner David Cromer will direct the previously announced production, a transfer from Off-Broadway, which will begin performances on Dec. 19 ahead of an official opening of Jan. 9, 2024 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Cast members slated to return from Off-Broadway include Betsy Aidem as Marcelle, Francis Benhamou as Elodie, Ari Brand as Lucien, Molly Ranson as Molly and Nancy Robinette as Irma. Joining them will be Anthony Edwards as Patrick and Aria Shahghasemi as Daniel.

An Emmy Award-nominated actor known for television’s “ER,” Edwards last appeared on the Main Stem for a weekend of performances in “Girl From the North Country” — a last-minute stint to keep the musical going during a bout of COVID-related illness in the cast. Prior to that, Edwards was a cast member in the 2018 revival of “Children of a Lesser God.”

Aidem recently appeared in “Leopoldstadt” and previously starred in “All the Way.” Ranson was a cast member of the 2022 “Plaza Suite” revival; her other credits include “Fish in the Dark,” “Jerusalem” and “August: Osage County.” Robinette last took the Main Stem stage in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

“Prayer for the French Republic” will mark the Broadway debuts of Benhamou and Shahghasemi. Benhamou won the Lucille Lortel Award and the Drama Desk Award in 2022 for her Off-Broadway turn in “Prayer for the French Republic.” Shahghasemi is best known for the television series “Legacies.”

Additional casting and creative team for “Prayer for the French Republic” will be announced.

“Prayer for the French Republic” tells the parallel stories of a Jewish family — generations apart — living in Paris. More than 70 years after the Second World War, the family is still asking themselves if they are safe in a country they think of as home but may not actually welcome them.

“Prayer for the French Republic” is being produced by Manhattan Theatre Club under the leadership of artistic director Lynne Meadow and executive director Chris Jennings. The staging is also being made possible by a grant from the Roy Cockrum Foundation.