Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward to Raise Voices at Westport, July 17-22

News   Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward to Raise Voices at Westport, July 17-22 Paul Newman will step on the stage for the first time in perhaps decades when he appears with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in A.R. Gurney's Ancestral Voices, at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT, July 17-22. David Saint will direct a cast that also includes James Naughton and Paul Rudd.

Paul Newman will step on the stage for the first time in perhaps decades when he appears with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in A.R. Gurney's Ancestral Voices, at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT, July 17-22. David Saint will direct a cast that also includes James Naughton and Paul Rudd.

Though Woodward has gone back and forth between film and theatre during her career, Newman has forged a career almost exclusively in film since starring in "The Silver Chalice" in 1955. He won his first film contract after being seen in William Inge's Picnic, his Broadway debut. Among his more notable films are "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The String," "The Verdict," "The Hustler," "The Color of Money" and "Mr. And Mrs. Bridge."

Newman performed in a benefit performance of Love Letters at Westport Playhouse in February.

Woodward's most recent theatre work was filling in for Eileen Heckart in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of The Waverly Gallery in 1999. At Westport, she will also direct W. Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife, June 12-24. Her many films include "The Three Faces of Eve" and "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge."

Ancestral Voices premieres last fall at Lincoln Center Theater. A flexible piece, along the lines of Gurney's Love Letters, in which actors read from scripts, Voices concerns an older woman's divorce from a man and her subsequent marriage to his best friend. As at LCT, the Westport production will feature a changing line-up. July 10-15, the play will feature Jason Robards and Frank Converse.

--By Robert Simonson