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'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Orders 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' on Broadway

In Richard Greenberg's new stage version of the Truman Capote novella, the actress will play Holly Golightly, the role immortalized by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film.
Emilia Clarke
Courtesy O+M Co.

NEW YORK -- Holly Golightly lives again.

Emilia Clarke, the British actress best known for her work on HBO's Game of Thrones, will step into the shoes of the eccentric New York party girl in a new stage adaptation of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's by playwright Richard Greenberg. The role was made famous by Audrey Hepburn in Blake Edwards' beloved 1961 film version.

Unlike the movie, which updated the story to 1960, Greenberg's play will return Holly to the original setting of Capote's 1958 book. Beginning in fall 1943, it chronicles the fascination of a writer from Louisiana, nicknamed "Fred," for his vivacious neighbor in an Upper East Side Manhattan brownstone. While juggling a string of wealthy suitors, Holly gradually reveals something of herself to Fred as her mysterious past catches up with her.

"The goal of this version is to return to the original setting of the novella, which is the New York of the Second World War, as well as to resume its tone — still stylish and romantic, yes, but rougher-edged and more candid than people generally remember," said Greenberg. "Capote was a great writer and a natural maker of plots, and Breakfast at Tiffany's has a drive that makes it very alluring to dramatize."

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Sean Mathias will direct the production, which marks his second attempt to bring the Capote story to the stage. He directed a 2009 adaptation in London's West End by British playwright Samuel Adamson that starred Anna Friel. But the play was given a tepid critical reception. A 1966 bid to bring Breakfast at Tiffany's to Broadway as a musical was aborted by legendary producer David Merrick after just four preview performances.

The new version is slated to begin performances on Broadway at an unannounced Shubert theater in February 2013. Colin Ingram Productions, Donovan Mannato and Dominic Ianno are lead producers.

Greenberg's plays include the Tony-winning Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain and The American Plan. He is writing the book for a new musical based on the Todd Haynes film Far From Heaven, which has its Off Broadway premiere at Playwrights Horizons next May. 

Clarke is currently filming season three of Game of Thrones, in which she plays Daenerys Targaryen; she starts shooting this month on the British feature Dom Hemingway, opposite Jude Law, Demian Bichir and Richard E. Grant.

Mathias directed the Martin Sherman play Bent to great acclaim on stage, as well as its 1997 screen version. He had a major success in the 2009-10 season during his run as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket with a production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot that starred Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. Mathias' last Broadway production was the 2002 revival of The Elephant Man, starring Billy Crudup.

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