The Rain in Spain: Shaw's Pygmalion, Starring Danes and Mays, Begins Previews Sept. 21

News   The Rain in Spain: Shaw's Pygmalion, Starring Danes and Mays, Begins Previews Sept. 21 Claire Danes makes her Broadway debut opposite Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, which begins performances Sept. 21.

Jefferson Mays and Claire Danes star in Pygmalion.
Jefferson Mays and Claire Danes star in Pygmalion. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

David Grindley (Journey's End) directs the limited engagement, which is slated to officially open Oct. 18 at the American Airlines Theatre for a run through Dec. 16.

Well-known as the inspiration for the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical My Fair Lady, the Shaw drama is based on the classical myth of the same name. The play, according to press notes, is described as such: "When Professor Henry Higgins (Mays) comes across a poor and uneducated Cockney girl named Eliza Doolittle (Danes), Higgins makes a bet that he can take Eliza from the gutters of London and pass her off as a society lady, by simply teaching her the right dialect in which to speak. Higgins soon discovers that this task involves much more than knowledge; it involves patience and most importantly, affairs of the heart."

Joining Danes and Mays in the cast are Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines (Colonel Pickering) and Jay O. Sanders (Alfred Doolittle). The ensemble also features Helen Carey (Mrs. Higgins), Brenda Wehle (Mrs. Pearce), Kerry Bishé (Clara Eynsford Hill), Kieran Campion (Freddy Eynsford Hill), Sandra Shipley (Mrs. Eynsford Hill), Jonathan Fielding (Bystander), Robin Moseley (Bystander) and Karen Walsh (Parlour Maid).

Danes is known for her screen work in "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," "Stage Beauty," "Little Women," "Les Misérables" and the television series "My So Called Life." In recent years, though, she has appeared at P.S. 122 in the dance pieces Edith & Jenny and Christina Olson: American Model as well as in Off-Broadway's The Vagina Monologues.

Mays earned the Tony Award for his turn in Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama I Am My Own Wife. He recently appeared in Broadway's revival of Journey's End and the New York City Center Encores! staging of Of Thee I Sing. The actor has also been seen in Moe's Lucky Seven, Lydie Breeze and Quills and regionally in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Misalliance, The Importance Of Being Earnest, The Cherry Orchard and more. The design team includes Jonathan Fensom (sets and costumes), Jason Taylor (lights) and Gregory Clarke (sound). Majella Hurley serves as dialect coach.

Roundabout continues its association with the works of Shaw following last season's Heartbreak House. Previous Shaw productions also include Major Barbara (2000-2001), Arms and the Man (1999-2000), You Never Can Tell (1997 1998) and Misalliance (1996-1997).

Pygmalion first hit the Broadway stage in 1914 at the Park Theatre and has been revived on Broadway four times since. The most recent (in 1987) starred Peter O'Toole as Higgins and Amanda Plummer as Doolittle.

Tickets to Pygmalion at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, are on sale by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300. For more information visit roundabouttheatre.org.

Boyd Gaines, Jefferson Mays, Claire Danes and Jay O. Sanders headline the cast of Roundabout's <i>Pygmalion</i>.
Boyd Gaines, Jefferson Mays, Claire Danes and Jay O. Sanders headline the cast of Roundabout's Pygmalion. Photo by Aubrey Reuben
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