It's Today! : Faye Plays Hepburn

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Pat Cerasaro

It may have only taken 35 years, but Academy Award-winning screen legend Faye Dunaway will make her grand return to Broadway next year according to an official announcement by producer Ben Feldman this week. Tackling the role of a lifetime by way of portraying fellow Hollywood superstar Katharine Hepburn, Dunaway will trod the boards beginning this summer in a new version of Matthew Lombardo's bioplay TEA AT FIVE, to be directed by John Tillinger. Of note, the production will mark the Broadway debut of the oft-produced bioplay.

Showcasing the four-time Oscar winner at two distinct phases of her life, both on a professional ebb in 1938 when she was deemed "box office poison" before receiving the script for THE PHILADELPHIA STORY as well as her latter life renaissance in the 1980s when she won her final Academy Award for ON GOLDEN POND, the rich character study paints a vivid portrait of Hepburn's career both onscreen and off. Previously, the one-woman play was presented in 2002 at Off-Broadway's Promenade Theatre starring Kate Mulgrew in the central role. Subsequently, TEA AT FIVE has been produced in numerous regional theaters and international venues.

Dunaway most recently appeared on Broadway in the short-lived drama THE CURSE OF AN ACHING HEART in 1982 written by lifelong mentor William Alfred after having made her professional debut in a string of memorable roles in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1961, fresh from Boston University, Dunaway first appeared in Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, followed by performances in Arthur Miller's ALL FALL DOWN, Alfred's HOGAN'S GOAT and S.N. Behrman's BUT FOR WHOM CHARLIE, among others. Subsequently, Dunaway famously headlined a successful revival of Tennessee Williams's classic A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in Los Angeles in 1973 in addition to touring Terrence McNally's MASTER CLASS throughout the 1990s to much acclaim, receiving a Sarah Siddons Award for her efforts. Additionally, a film adaptation of the popular opera homage has been in development under Dunaway's direction for several years, although no release timeline has been announced as of yet.

Having tackled Joan Crawford so memorably onscreen in MOMMIE DEAREST, Dunaway is poised to bring even more Hollywood royalty to life in this exciting new endeavor.