Amy Irving Is Back on Broadway

Article excerpt

FOR CELEBRITY watchers, it seemed like Amy Irving the movie star had all but vanished from the scene. A couple of recent films - "A Show of Force" and "Benefit of the Doubt" - headed straight to the video store.

Unlike her high-profile life with former husband Steven Spielberg, Irving's current marriage, to Brazilian director Bruno Barreto, barely registers on the Hollywood gossip scale.

Amy Irving the stage actress, though, has anything but disappeared. She's starring in "Broken Glass," a new play by Arthur Miller that opened Sunday night at the Booth Theater in New York.

"It's the most thrilling thing I've ever done," says Irving, who has racked up Obies for past Broadway performances and is descended from a venerable theater family. Her father is the late theater impresario Jules Irving and her mother is actress Priscilla Pointer; Irving grew up with Arthur Miller scripts the way some kids grow up with cornflakes.

"My mother played Abigail when my father revived `The Crucible' at Lincoln Center," Irving notes. "He played Biff in `Death of a Salesman.'. . . If my father were alive today, he wouldn't be able to contain his pride that his daughter is originating an Arthur Miller play on Broadway."

In "Broken Glass," set in 1938 Brooklyn, Irving plays a Jewish woman whose repressive marriage, coupled with her terror over reports of Nazism, induce a psychosomatic paralysis.

Her husband, an ambivalent Jew played by Ron Rifkin, struggles to understand his own anti-Semitism and his role in his wife's illness.

To prepare for the role, Irving says she watched and rewatched a PBS documentary on Kristallnacht. …