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Deuce: a new play by Terrence McNally to star Angela Lansbury & Marian Seldes


The New York Post has reported that Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes are to star in the new Terrence McNally play, Deuce.

Deuce, to be directed by Michael Blakemore, is about two retired women tennis players who once made up a championship doubles team.

The play is expected to open on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre on 6 May 2007, just in time to be eligiable for nominations for the 2007 Tony Awards.

Four time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury's Broadway triumphs include playing Mame Dennis in the original Broadway production of Mame (1966) and Mrs. Lovett in the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd (1979). Amongst her other Broadway credits are The King and I, Gypsy, and Dear World to name a few.

Deuce will be Lansbury's first stage appearance in 23 years.

"We all are floating around in the ether," Lansbury, 81, told The New York Post yesterday. "It's a wonderful gig we're embarking on here."

Lansbury last appeared on Broadway in the 1983 ill-fated revival of the musical Maim. She then departed New York for Los Angeles where she created the character Jessica in the highly successful TV series "Murder She Wrote", which ran for twelve years.

"After I bombed out [in "Mame"], my husband and I decided I needed to try something in television to establish a bit of an annuity for myself," Lansbury said to the New York Post. "I never closed the door on theater. I thought 'Murder, She Wrote' would run three years. It went 12 years. I got my annuity."

Marian Seldes was last seen on Broadway playing Carlotta Vance in Dinner at Eight (revival 2002). Her many Broadway credits include Ring Round the Moon, Ivanov, and Deathtrap.

"Listen, darling," Marian Seldes said yesterday to the New York Post, "Angela and I are playing two women our own age. But we are not in a nursing home, we are not being pushed around in wheelchairs, we do not have Alzheimer's. Most times, you open a new script, that is where you are. But it isn't what I want to go to the theater to see."

Blakemore, a two-time Tony Award-winning director, said the play deals with "the desire to excel, to compete, to win - even though you know loss."

Deuce was originally to be produced by off-Broadway by Primary Stages, who have premiered Terrence McNally's recent plays, but with a show featuring the return of Angela Lansbury, it seems the show was destined for a Broadway world premiere.

Deuce is being produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin and Tom Kirdahy in association with Primary Stages.

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