Leighton Meester to Join 'Of Mice and Men' Cast

Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester
 Courtesy of WME

NEW YORK – In what is shaping up to be among the starriest productions of Broadway's spring lineup, Leighton Meester has signed up for Of Mice and Men, appearing opposite previously announced leads James Franco and Chris O'Dowd.

The former Gossip Girl star, like Franco and O'Dowd, will be making her Broadway debut in the revival of John Steinbeck's Depression-era drama, which the Nobel Prize-winning author adapted for the stage from his iconic 1937 novella of the same name.

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Prior to breaking through in television, Meester began her career performing in regional theater.

She will take on the role of Curley's wife, the flirtatious, lonely farm beauty nursing broken dreams of movie stardom, who turns the head of gentle giant Lennie (played by O'Dowd), spelling tragedy for the simpleminded field worker. Franco stars as Lennie's loyal friend and protector, George.

Anna D. Shapiro, a Tony Award winner for Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, will direct the production, which marks the first time the play has been seen on Broadway in 40 years.

Produced by David Binder, it begins previews March 19 at the Longacre Theatre, with official opening set for April 16. Tickets go on sale Jan. 11 for the limited engagement, which runs through July 27. Remaining cast is to be announced.

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The Of Mice and Men revival adds further luster to a starry Broadway lineup for the second half of the 2013-14 season.

Also on the calendar are Denzel Washington and Diahann Carroll in A Raisin in the Sun, opening April 3 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre; Debra Messing in Outside Mullingar, opening Jan. 23 at the Friedman; Bryan Cranston as LBJ in All the Way, opening March 6 at the Neil Simon; and Tyne Daly in Mothers and Sons, opening March 24 at the John Golden.

Spring musical productions headlining marquee talent include Zach Braff in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway, opening April 10 at the St. James Theatre; Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, opening April 22 at the Belasco; and Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming in Cabaret, which bows April 24 at Studio 54, right before the cutoff date for Tony Awards eligibility.

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