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UK Philadephia Story Will Extend Upon Star Kevin Spacey's Return

Kevin Spacey will extend his run in The Philadelphia Story at London's Old Vic after returning from shooting Superman Returns (in which he plays villain Rex Luthor). The star will leave the production on June 8th, but will come back for four added weeks of performances, from August 8th to September 3rd.

The Philadelphia Story, which is directed by Jerry Zaks, opened at the Old Vic on May 3rd. The sparkling Philip Barry comedy stars Jennifer Ehle as uptight, engaged socialite Tracy Lord, who lets her hair down with the help of her ex-husband CK Dexter Haven (played by Spacey). The production, which co-stars Richard Lintern, DW Moffett, Julia McKenzie, Lauren Ward and Nicholas LePrevost, received mixed reviews from London critics. Paul Taylor of The Independent wrote: "Well, Jerry Zaks' handsomely designed production turns out be a respectable hit-and-miss affair. Though the part feels significantly shorter than in the movie, Spacey makes a strong, mischievous impact, oozing laidback dangerous charm."
The Philadelphia Story starred Katharine Hepburn in its original 1939 production; she would repeat the role of Tracy in the classic 1940 film that also starred James Stewart and Cary Grant. A 1956 film musical entitled High Society starred Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and set the story to a Cole Porter score. High Society became a Broadway musical in 1998.

Film star Spacey, who became the artistic director of the Old Vic in the fall of last year, is a theatre veteran who was nominated as Best Actor in a Play for his performance in the 1999 revival of O'Neill's Iceman Cometh; he won Best Featured Actor in a Play for 1991's Lost in Yonkers. Other Broadway credits include Long Day's Journey Into Night, the original production of Hurlyburly (in which he was a replacement) and Ghosts. He is a two-time Academy Award winner for 1995's The Usual Suspects and 1999's American Beauty.

Spacey will be absent from The Philadephia Story from June 20 to August 6; a replacement has not yet been announced.

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