Slew of Oscar winners taking their act to N.Y.

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NEW YORK -- By the time you read this, we will know who will be front and center on the Oscar red carpet at the Kodak Theatre in slightly less than five weeks -- 33 days, in fact. To all who have made the golden list, a hearty congratulations, and do remember what Anne Bancroft, the 1962 best actress winner, whispered into the ear of 1963 best actor winner Sidney Poitier: "Enjoy it! It doesn't last long." What Bancroft didn't say, though, is just as valid: You're now in the Hollywood history books forevermore. ... Two weeks before those shiny new statuettes will be handed out in Hollywood, a pair of celebrated Academy Award winners will have a reunion in Florida. On Feb. 10, Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, both Oscared for 1972's "Cabaret," will be joining Brian Stokes Mitchell onstage at a black-tie gala saluting the 15th anniversary of the Kravitz Center in West Palm Beach. They will be joined by Harolyn Blackwell; Baayork Lee is choreographing. ... Another Oscar winner, F. Murray Abraham (who won for 1984's "Amadeus"), is in the prevue process as Shylock in a new off-Broadway production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" at the Duke on 42nd Street Theatre, where it opens Feb. 4. Meanwhile, his Oscar-nominated co-star in that Milos Forman classic, Tom Hulce, is one of the producers of "Spring Awakening," the town's newest smash hit, which is keeping the staff at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre extra busy at showtime. ... Two more Academy Award champs arrive soon: Vanessa Redgrave (who won for 1977's "Julia") begins prevuing Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking," directed by David Hare, on March 6 at the Booth, with its opening night set for March 29. That same night, Kevin Spacey (a two-time Oscar winner, for 1995's "The Usual Suspects" and 1999's "American Beauty") begins prevuing his Old Vic production of Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten" at the Brooks Atkinson. It co-stars Olivier Award winner Eve Best and Colm Meaney and is being directed by Howard Davies, with its Big Apple opening date set for April 8. ... This week's sole Broadway launch: The revival of Brian Friel's "Translations" on Thursday at the Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre. (MTC also produced the American premiere of Friel's play in 1981.) Gary Hynes directs this version. ... Prevues begin tonight on Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick's new musical comedy "Adrift in Macao," a spoof of film noir directed by Sheryl Kaller and toplined by Alan Campbell. That's happening at the Primary Stages' 59E59 Theatres, where it opens Feb. 13. ... Something else to look forward to before the curtain descends on the 2006-07 theatrical season in New York: "Coram Boy," the current hit at London's National Theatre, is Broadway bound, set to begin prevuing April 16 at the Imperial and opening May 2 -- four days before the world premiere of the new Terrence McNally play "Deuce" with Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes at the Music Box, directed by Michael Blakemore. "Coram" is based on the epic novel by Janila Gavin set in 18th century England and will boast a cast of 40 actors, along with six musicians. ... Cherry Jones is extending her commitment to the national tour of "Doubt." She'll continue in John Patrick Shanley's award winner through May 20 in Philadelphia. It's currently at the La Salle Theatre in Chicago.
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