Danes hitting Broadway in 'Pygmalion'


Claire Danes will make her Broadway debut as Eliza Doolittle in a new production of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" on the Great White Way. David Grindley is directing the play, which is being produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Based on the classical myth, "Pygmalion" centers on professor Henry Higgins, being played by the already cast Tony winner Jefferson Mays, who comes across a poor and uneducated Cockney girl named Eliza. He makes a bet that he can take her from the gutters of London and pass her off as a society lady by simply teaching her the right dialect in which to speak, but he soon discovers that this task is complicated by human emotions.

Shaw's famous play inspired the award-winning musical "My Fair Lady," written and composed by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, which bowed in 1956. It was adapted into a 1964 screen musical directed by George Cukor and starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. The movie won eight Oscars, including best picture.

"Pygmalion," which will bow at the American Airlines Theatre, will begin previews Sept. 21 and open officially Oct. 18. The limited engagement runs through Dec. 16.

Additional cast members will be announced shortly. The design team includes Jonathan Fensom (sets and costumes), Jason Taylor (lighting design), Gregory Clarke (sound) and Majella Hurley (dialect coach).

Danes stars in "Evening," an ensemble drama whose case includes Vanessa Redgrave, Glenn Close, Patrick Wilson, Toni Collette and Meryl Streep. She will next star in Matthew Vaughn's "Stardust" opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro.

Danes is repped by ICM and Michael Aglion.