The play, about an overzealous teacher's fateful hold over her impressionable students, will be directed by New Group artistic director Scott Elliott. The title role has been a lucky one for actresses over the years. It won Zoe Caldwell the Tony Award in its original Broadway incarnation; Vanessa Redgrave the Olivier Award in the London production; and Maggie Smith the Oscar for the film version.
Nixon will have a busy 2005-06 season. At Manhattan Theatre Club, she will star in a Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly.
The casting of Cynthia Nixon as WASPy Sally Talley strikes a note with fans of Wilson's Talley trilogy of plays. When she was a child actress, Nixon appeared in Fifth of July in New York (and in a PBS broadcast of the play). Now she'll play a rich, plainspoken small-town girl wooed by a Jewish lad in a boathouse on her family property in Missouri.
Doug Hughes (Frozen, Doubt) will direct at the Biltmore.
Nixon's most recent theatre credits include The Women, String Fever and The Country Club.