Angela Lansbury Sets Broadway Return in 'The Chalk Garden'
The five-time Tony Award winner will star in a revival of Enid Bagnold's 1955 play planned for the 2016-17 season, with Scott Rudin and Andrew Bryan producing.
Angela Lansbury celebrated her 90th birthday in October, but she's not thinking about retirement any time soon.
The beloved veteran actress has confirmed she will return to Broadway during the 2016-17 season in a revival of Enid Bagnold's 1955 play The Chalk Garden, a passion project of which Lansbury has spoken often in recent years.
No director or other cast have been announced for the revival, which will be produced by Scott Rudin and Andrew Bryan.
The play is an enigmatic comedy-drama about a wealthy eccentric, Mrs. St. Maugham, who lives in fading grandeur in a country house on barren land in Sussex, England, with her troubled adolescent granddaughter Laurel and ex-con manservant, Maitland. After Laurel drives away multiple governesses, a mysterious woman with no references named Miss Madrigal is hired, proving a worthy match for her overbearing employer and a positive influence on her charge.
The Chalk Garden was filmed in 1964, starring Edith Evans, Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills and John Mills. It has never been revived on Broadway despite talk at the time of a transfer of Michael Grandage's acclaimed 2008 production at London's Donmar Warehouse, which starred Margaret Tyzack, Penelope Wilton and Felicity Jones.
Lansbury's connection to the work of Bagnold goes back to one of her earliest film roles, in the 1944 screen version of National Velvet, based on Bagnold's novel.
Over the course of her illustrious stage career, Lansbury has won five Tony Awards. She landed lead actress in a musical honors in 1966 for Mame, in 1969 for Dear World, in 1975 for Gypsy and in 1979 for Sweeney Todd; in 2007, she won for featured actress in a play as the clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, a role she reprised when the production subsequently played London.
Her most recent Broadway appearance was in 2012 in Gore Vidal's The Best Man.
Rudin is coming off a remarkably prolific season on Broadway, generating a combined 28 Tony nominations for his productions of Shuffle Along, The Humans, The Crucible, A View From the Bridge and Blackbird. Next up, he will be shepherding the spring 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly!, starring Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce, which begins performances March 13 at the Shubert Theatre.