Diane Lane Returning to the Stage in 'Sweet Bird of Youth'

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Diane Lane

The actress will star opposite Finn Wittrock in David Cromer's production of the Tennessee Williams play at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, starting Sept. 15.

NEW YORK -- Diane Lane will return to her stage roots this season in director David Cromer's revival for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago of the 1959 Tennessee Williams play Sweet Bird of Youth.

Running Sept. 15-Oct. 21, the production stars Lane as boozy fading screen star Alexandra Del Lago, who goes by the name of Princess Kosmonopolis. Fleeing the disastrous premiere of her latest movie, she arrives in a small Gulf Coast town with handsome young gigolo Chance Wayne, who sees the actress as his meal ticket. 

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Playing the role of Chance is Finn Wittrock, who made an acclaimed Broadway debut last season in Mike Nichols' Tony-winning revival of the Arthur Miller classic Death of a Salesman, opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield.

A Chicago native making his Goodman debut, Cromer is best known for his revelatory long-running reconsideration of Our Town and for an undeservingly short-lived Broadway revival of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Plans initially were announced for Cromer to direct Sweet Bird of Youth on Broadway, with Nicole Kidman slated to star. At one point, James Franco had reportedly been in talks to play Chance. But that production fell apart, indicating that producers will be closely watching the Goodman staging for New York transfer potential. 

Unlike The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, which have seen more frequent revivals, the most recent Broadway staging of Sweet Bird was in 1975. One of Williams' last commercial successes, the play originally starred Geraldine Page and Paul Newman, who reprised their roles in the 1962 movie. Irene Worth and Christopher Walken headlined the 1975 revival, with Worth winning a Tony for her performance.

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An Oscar nominee in 2003 for Unfaithful, Lane began her career at age 6 at the famed La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York. She appeared in a handful of Broadway productions while in her teens in the late 1970s, but has been absent from New York stages since then. 

Lane earned an Emmy nomination for her role last year in the HBO film Cinema Verite, with Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini. She also appears in Zach Snyder's upcoming Superman reboot for Warner Bros., Man of Steel, playing Clark Kent's adoptive mother.