PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Aug. 24-30: Rocky and Aladdin Set Broadway Dates, Jessica Lange Will Journey to Broadway

By Robert Simonson
30 Aug 2013

Jessica Lange
Photo by ABC
Lange is not unfamiliar with the role. She previously played the role of Mary Tyrone in a 2000 production of Eugene O'Neill's familial drama in London, receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance as the long-suffering, morphine-addicted mother.

Lange made her Broadway debut in a 1992 production of A Streetcar Named Desire and returned to the stage in the 2005 revival of The Glass Menagerie.

The O'Neill classic was last done on Broadway just ten years ago, in a production starring Vanessa Redgrave as Mary Tyrone.

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It's not often that major casting news goes by the headline of "Such-and-Such's Wife to Star In…," but it's hard to begin an article about Trudie Styler starring in a new production of The Seagull without mentioning the man she's married to: Sting.

The Chekhov outing will be presented this fall by Culture Project, with direction by Max Stafford Clark. Joining Styler will be Rufus Collins, Alan Cox, Stella Feehily, Slate Holmgren, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Ryan David O'Byrne, Amanda Quaid, Tim Ruddy and Kenneth Ryan. The production, of course, promises to be a "reappraisal" of the classic.

Previews will begin Oct. 3 prior to an official opening Oct. 13.

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Julie Harris, a towering figure of the American theatre in the decades following World War II, died on Aug. 24. She was 87. The theatre, and the world, shall never see her like again. Truly.

Harris was nearly wholly a creature of the stage, the last of a breed that once included Helen Hayes, Jessica Tandy and Katharine Cornell. She worked tirelessly, and, even late in life, toured with her shows — something few actresses of her stature rarely did. Director-writer Harold Clurman, who directed her, captured both her unglamorous persona as well as her dedication to her art when he described her as "a nun whose church is the stage."

The theatre rewarded her devotion with ten Tony Award nominations and five wins, as well a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 2002. She took it all in stride, seeming to care far less about the accolades than she did about the actual work. Until she was finally physically unable to, she would take roles on the smallest of stages. She was, as the New York Times aptly wrote it in its obituary, an "anti-diva."