Cynthia Nixon to Direct Landmark Lesbian Drama 'Last Summer at Bluefish Cove' on Broadway

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Cynthia Nixon

Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner will serve as executive producers on the 40th anniversary run of Jane Chambers' play.

Cynthia Nixon will make her Broadway directing debut this year on a 40th anniversary production of the landmark lesbian drama Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.

Set in 1980 at the lesbian beach colony of the title, the play by the late Jane Chambers centers around Lil Zalinski and the close-knit group of female friends who gather each summer, examining the ripples that ensue when an ostensibly straight woman who has just left her husband wanders unknowingly into their midst and knocks Lil off her feet.

Lead producer Harriet Newman Leve will team with two high-profile lesbian power couples on the Broadway engagement, with Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner serving as executive producers.

Chambers' play was considered a groundbreaking theatrical work when it premiered off-Broadway in 1980; Jean Smart originally played Lil in both New York and Los Angeles.

The all-female cast and creative team as well as theater and dates for the Broadway premiere are to be announced.

While the lives of gay men have been frequently represented on Broadway in recent seasons, with revivals of The Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band, Torch Song and Angels in America, as well as new works like Choir Boy and this season's The Inheritance, plays with prominent lesbian characters have been few. The 2018 musical The Prom was a rare exception.

A New York stage veteran of more than 40 productions dating back to her teens, Nixon has been quietly developing her skills as a theater director of late with the off-Broadway productions Rasheeda Speaking, Steve and MotherStruck!

As an actor, she will next be seen opposite Sarah Paulson on Ryan Murphy's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest prequel Ratched for Netflix, and with Christine Baranski on Julian Fellowes' Gilded Age, set in 1880s New York, on HBO.