Oprah Winfrey to Make Broadway Debut Opposite Audra McDonald in NIGHT, MOTHER?
The New York Times reports that talk show queen Oprah Winfrey is currently in talks to make her long-awaited Broadway debut in a revival of Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play NIGHT, MOTHER opposite five-time Tony-Award winner Audra McDonald. Winfrey would portray a mother who desperately tries to prevent her daughter from killing herself.
Two theater executives involved in the project shared details on the news on the condition of anonymity.
Lucky Guy director George C. Wolfe is set to helm the production, which is scheduled to open sometime during the 2015-16 Broadway season. The timing will be based on scheduling availablity of those involved.
Lead producer Scott Sanders, confirmed today, Thursday, February 6th, that he was in talks with Ms. Winfrey to make her Broadway debut. No further details were given and the identity of the play was not revealed. "Oprah has had a longstanding desire to act on Broadway," said Mr. Sanders. "She understands how unique and challenging performing live on stage will be as an actress. She and I have been looking at a number of plays and roles in order to find material and a character that truly resonate with her. We've recently read something that we're both excited about but are not yet ready to officially announce the specifics."
According to the two theater executives, Winfrey and McDonald read the play last year during a visit to Sander's apartment. Mr. Wolfe was present at the reading in which "all involved were happy with the results."
Winfrey was most recently seen on the big screen in "Lee Daniels' The Butler." She is currently working on a Broadway revival of 'The Color Purple' along with Mr. Sanders. Together, the duo produced the original production of the Broadway musical in 2005 with a book by Marsha Norman.
Audra McDonald last appeared on Broadway in her Tony-Award winning role as 'Bess' in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess." She last appeared in a Broadway play in 2004's "A Raisin in the Sun". The talented actress stole the show in her role as Mother Abbess in NBC's live broadcast of 'The Sound of Music' in 2013.
NIGHT MOTHER first opened on Broadway in 1983. The show, which ran for one year, received Tony nominations for best play and best actress for its stars, Anne Pitoniak and Kathy Bates. In 2004, Brenda Blethyn and Edie Falco appeared in a revival.
Requests for comments on the report from representatives of Ms. Winfrey and Ms. McDonald were declined.
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