Thesp takes lead in prize-winning play

Eileen Atkins is a sure thing for “Doubt.” She will take over for Cherry Jones in John Patrick Shanley’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play Jan. 8.

Atkins will play crusading nun Sister Aloysius, the part that won Jones a Tony in June. A four-time nominee herself, the actress last appeared on Broadway in “The Retreat From Moscow.”

Jones, meanwhile, will be back on the Great White Way in the spring in Brian Friel’s “Faith Healer,” a transfer of Dublin’s Gate Theater production starring Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid (Daily Variety, Sept. 30).

No other “Doubt” replacements have been announced.

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