‘Bountiful’ and ‘Miss Firecracker’ Head to Broadway

Two revivals of plays have been announced for Broadway and both will feature leading roles of eccentric Southern women played by actresses best known for their television roles.

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson will return to Broadway in The Trip to Bountiful

Cicely Tyson will return to Broadway after a 30-year absence to star in The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote. Tyson last appeared on the Broadway in a revival of The Corn Is Green, and she won an Emmy Award for her memorable performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Here she will play Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who runs away from the stormy Houston household of her son and daughter-in-law to revisit the town of her youth.

Geraldine Page won an Oscar for the film version and Lois Smith received a Drama Desk Award for an Off-Broadway revival. Michael Wilson, who staged Foote’s three-part The Orphans’ Home Cycle at Signature Theater Company, directs. The production begins previews March 31 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rdSt. in advance of an April 23 opening.

Beth Henley’s The Miss Firecracker Contest will star Amber Tamblyn (Emmy nominee for Joan of Arcadia) as Carnelle Scott, an isolated young woman with a slightly loony family seeking to change her life by entering the titular pageant. The play premiered Off-Broadway in 1984 at the Manhattan Theatre Club and starred Holly Hunter as Carnelle. She also played the part in the 1989 film version. The role provided an early boost to Hunter’s career; she went on to win an Oscar for The Piano. Also appearing in the original cast were Mark Linn-Baker (Perfect Strangers), Belita Moreno (several Robert Altman films, George Lopez’s sitcom), and Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby, Emmy winner for Justified).

The revival, set to open next spring, marks the Broadway debut for Tamblyn and for Judith Ivey as a director. Ivey has won Tony Awards for her performances in Steaming and Hurlyburly and is currently appearing in The Heiress opposite Jessica Chastain. Dates, theater and additional casting are to be announced.

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