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Will Streep, Mirren, or Turner Star in Premiere of Tennessee Williams's Final Play?

Will Streep, Mirren, or Turner Star in Premiere of Tennessee Williams's Final Play?

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The last play written by Tennessee Williams, which tells of the world's richest woman, her gay husband, and his young lover, will finally be produced in April in New York possibly starring Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, or Anjelica Huston, according to New York Post's Michael Riedel.

Williams, who won nearly every award for his plays, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was working on In Masks Outrageous and Austere when he died unexpectedly in 1983. Gavin Lambert, a writer and friend of the playwright, who adapted his novella The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone into a 1961 film that starred Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty, and who was aware of how critics attacked many of Williams's later plays, had possession of the manuscript, of which he was very protective. Before Lambert's death in 2005, Gore Vidal attempted to edit it for a possible production to be directed by Peter Bogdanovich to star Cybill Shepherd, but plans never came to fruition.

Riedel reports that the play eventually came to director David Schweizer, who claims to have used new computer technology to create a version of the play that he feels is like the one Williams intended. Schweizer plans to direct the world premiere of the play at the Culture Project on Bleecker Street in New York, with previews scheduled to begin April 5. Although the female lead, which Schweizer considers one of the playwright's finest creations, has yet to be cast, Schweizer has approached Anjelica Huston, Kathleen Turner, Helen Mirren, and considers Meryl Streep a possibility, as well.

"It's a sublimely haunting piece of theater," Schweizer tells Riedel. "There are surprising and surreal theatrical gestures here, but also a sense of yearning that only Tennessee can evoke in the theater."

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