Dame Maggie Smith, who has earned the right to be a little picky as to her projects, has decided to return to the stage in a London revival of Edward Albee's obscure The Lady from Dubuque. The show's central role was created by the late Irene Worth, who got the opportunity to play only 20 performances of the show in 1980 at Broadway's Morosco. (Sigh. The Morosco.)
Friends of Edward abound in this venture. Anthony Page—who directed the New York revival of Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin—will helm the production, which is scheduled to begin previews in February 2007 at a theatre to be announced. Frequent Albee producers Robert Fox and Elizabeth I. McCann will back the play.
The Broadway transfer of the new musical Grey Gardens will provide a young actress with her proverbial "big break." In recasting the role of "Little Edie" Beale in the play's 1941-set first act, producers reached out to newcomer Erin Davie. Davie appeared in the national tours of Wicked and Swing!. She will act opposite Christine Ebersole, who plays Little Edie's attention-hungry mother, Edith Bouvier Beale in the first act.
Broadway performances begin Oct. 3 toward an opening Nov. 2 at The Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th Street. Speaking of young actresses new to a New York audience, Megan Dodds will reprise her role in the American premiere of the acclaimed — and controversial — historical solo play My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Dodds played Rachel Corrie in the April 2005 Royal Court Theatre production, and reprised the role both at The Royal Court and at The Playhouse Theatre in London's West End in spring 2006.
The Royal Court Theatre production of My Name Is Rachel Corrie will begin performances at Off-Broadway's Minetta Lane Theatre Oct. 5, and opens Oct. 15. The limited engagement will play 48 performances through Nov. 19.
Finally, there was news on the hyphenated actress front. Celia Keenan-Bolger, who received a 2005 Tony Award nomination Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her current turn as Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, has opted to leave that show to play another sad little girl who gets some damn good songs—Eponine, in the coming Broadway revival of Les Miserables.
And so Bee needs a new Olive. Enter Jessica-Snow Wilson, who appeared on Broadway in Good Vibrations and Little Shop of Horrors. She will begin spelling Sept. 19.
In related news, Daphne Rubin-Vega ends performances in Everythings Turning Into Beautiful Off-Broadway on Sept. 2.