Media giant Oprah Winfrey may be adding Broadway actress to her lengthy list of accomplishments. According to a report in The New York Times, the talk-show legend and Oscar nominee is in talks to star opposite Tony winner Audra McDonald in a revival of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play ’night, Mother.
Winfrey would play a concerned mother trying to convince her unhappy middle-aged daughter not to commit suicide. The two-character play would be directed by Tony winner George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Lucky Guy) and open on Broadway during the 2015-16 season.
“Oprah has had a longstanding desire to act on Broadway,” Scott Sanders, the lead producer of the project, told the Times. “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.”
Winfrey’s only previous Broadway credit was as producer of the musical version of The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel. Winfrey was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film version. This past year she was nominated for a SAG Award for Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Winfrey and Sanders are also working on a Broadway revival of Purple, possibly for the 2014-15 season.
McDonald is the winner of five Tonys — for Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class, A Raisin in the Sun and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.
’night, Mother was first produced on Broadway in 1983 with Kathy Bates and Anne Pitoniak. Brenda Blethyn and Edie Falco starred in a 2004 revival. The 1986 film version was headlined by Anne Bancroft and Sissy Spacek.
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