If America and England are indeed two nations divided by a common language, The Bridge Project, a new theatrical initiative, seeks to improve communication. Like a bridge over the rather untroubled waters of the Atlantic, the project joins American film actors who sometimes do theater (Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton) with British thespians who occasionally make movies (Sinead Cusack, Simon Russell Beale). Sam Mendes, a director approved by both Hollywood and the West End, acts as structural engineer. The Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts the inaugural performance, Tom Stoppard’s new version of Chekhov’s lugubrious final play, The Cherry Orchard, which concerns themes pertinent to both British and American hearts—love, family, and real estate. It runs in repertory with the seasonally appropriate The Winter’s Tale.

Jan. 2-March 8, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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