Sternhagen Will Star in Seventh Talking Heads Play, Added to Off-Bway Acts in May

News   Sternhagen Will Star in Seventh Talking Heads Play, Added to Off-Bway Acts in May Frances Sternhagen will star in the seventh of a collection of Alan Bennett one-act plays being presented Off Broadway under the title Talking Heads, at the Minetta Lane Theatre.
Frances Sternhagen
Frances Sternhagen

The respected Sternhagen, seen in a range of work from Mornings at Seven and Driving Miss Daisy to "E.R." and "Sex and the City," will appear in Bennett's Waiting for the Telegram, which will enter the performance rotation in mid-May, a spokesperson said.

The six Bennett solo works that make up Talking Heads are broken up into Program A and Program B (three plays each) and are offered at a discount of $100 for all six when bought together.

The Sternhagen play may serve as a replacement play in the programs, or may augment a program, offering four pieces for the price of three in one sitting. Her official start date has not been announced.

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Talking Heads, the long-lived series of Alan Bennett monologues, will finally get its New York stage premiere at the Minetta Lane Theatre, beginning March 22. Lynn Redgrave, Kathleen Chalfant, Daniel Davis, Christine Ebersole, Valerie Mahaffey and Brenda Wehle stars in six soliloquies, three of which will be featured each evening. Michael Engler directs. Opening is set for April 6. The characters in the plays include an obsessive compulsive cleaner dealing with a murder in The Outside Dog; a minister's wife questioning the existence of God and finding Him in the arms of an Indian shopkeeper in Bed Among the Lentils; a reclusive woman who finds her way out into the wide world in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet; a nosy spinster who winds up in jail after pushing into business not her own in A Lady of Letters and the middle-aged Graham, still living with his mother, who is put out by an old suitor who comes to claim her in A Chip in the Sugar.

Television viewers will remember the series as an often repeated feature on PBS. Bennett himself played the role of Graham on television. Talking Heads scripts were first made for the BBC, but have since been staged in the theatre many times, including at Los Angeles' Tiffany Theatre. Chalfant and Davis appeared in the L.A. engagement, as did Annette Bening, Tyne Daly and Swoosie Kurtz.

Bennett is the author of Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van and his Oscar-nominated "The Madness of King George."

For ticket information, call (212) 307-4100.