Molly Ringwald to Star in 'Terms of Endearment'

Molly Ringwald - H 2016
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The erstwhile John Hughes teen queen will take on the feisty Texas matriarch played onscreen by Shirley MacLaine in the upcoming stage adaptation.

In a casting move destined to make the MTV Generation feel their age, Molly Ringwald will play Aurora Greenway in the upcoming U.S. stage premiere of Terms of Endearment.

That's right, the actor who became the embodiment of the intelligent teen outsider in a trio of beloved 1980s John Hughes movies, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, will now be playing the controlling Texas grandmother in Dan Gordon's play based on the Larry McMurtry novel and the 1983 movie written, directed and produced by James L. Brooks.

That film won an Oscar for Shirley MacLaine, who played Aurora on the screen opposite fellow best actress nominee Debra Winger as her rebellious daughter Emma. The movie also won best picture, director, adapted screenplay and supporting actor for Jack Nicholson as the astronaut neighbor with whom Aurora becomes romantically involved for a time.

Starring opposite Ringwald as Emma will be Hannah Dunne, a series regular on Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle, whose credits also include roles in Louie, Horace and Pete and Frances Ha.

The play will be directed by Michael Parva, beginning performances Oct. 29 at off-Broadway's 59E59 Theaters in a limited engagement that runs through Dec. 11. An official opening night has not yet been set. Lead producers on the show include Julian Schlossberg and Roy Furman, whose Broadway credentials may be an indication of future commercial hopes.

The play explores the loving but volatile relationship between Aurora and Emma as the latter embarks on an ill-advised marriage and then further down the line as she faces challenges that bring the sparring mother and daughter back closer together.

Ringwald has appeared on Broadway in Cabaret and Enchanted April, and off-Broadway in Tick, Tick ... Boom!, Modern Orthodox and How I Learned to Drive.

The stage adaptation of Terms of Endearment was first announced 10 years ago as a Broadway-bound project to star ex-Dallas siren Linda Gray. While the initial U.S. plans fell apart for reasons that were never announced, Gray did appear in the play in a U.K. regional tour.

Oct. 3, 11:40 a.m. Updated with news of Hannah Dunne's casting.