B'way lets black 'Cat' out of bag

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Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and James Earl Jones will star in Debbie Allen's Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

The latest version of the Southern drama marks the first production led by an all-black cast to be authorized by Williams' estate. It's set to open March 6 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Howard will make his stage debut as the haunted, alcoholic Brick, a former football player who rebuffs the advances of his wife, Maggie (Rose of "Dreamgirls"), and faces a tortured relationship with his domineering father, Big Daddy (Jones). Rashad plays Big Mama. The other two main roles in the dysfunctional family are being cast.

Aside from Oscar nominee Howard ("Hustle & Flow"), the other cast members bring strong theater credentials. Jones, Rashad and Rose have all won Tonys.

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is presented by Front Row Prods. and produced by Stephen C. Byrd. Preview performances begin Feb. 12.
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