On April 18, Spacey visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and mentioned his excitement at his first hosting opportunity. “I love the theatre, I’m a theatre rat so for me it’s incredibly exciting,” said Spacey.
Spacey won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Lost in Yonkers in 1991 (for which he also won a Drama Desk Award) and was nominated for his work in Broadway’s 1999 revival of The Iceman Cometh. The actor is best known in the film world for his two Oscar-winning turns in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty and in television circles for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of Francis Underwood on Netflix’s acclaimed original series House of Cards.
But shortly after the Tony Awards, Spacey returns to his theatrical roots with a one-man show. “I did a play in London two years ago,” Spacey explained to Fallon, about famed attorney Clarence Darrow, who inspired Inherit the Wind. “I wanted to bring it to America, but when we did it at the Old Vic [in London] we did it in the round.” Spacey, an avid tennis fan, recalls attending opening night at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York, when an idea hit him. “Drama happens on this court all the time,” Spacey recalled thinking, “so we are doing this play about Clarence Darrow at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens.”
Spacey announced that he would put on two performances June 15 and 16 of the play. Spacey then did a little on-the-spot theatre, playing “Mad Lib Theatre” with Fallon.