Thesp returns after 20 years in new McNally play

NEW YORK — Angela Lansbury returns to Broadway for the first time in more than 20 years in “Deuce,” a new play by Terrence McNally (“Love! Valour! Compassion!”) set to open at the Music Box May 6.

Lansbury will star opposite Marian Seldes in the tennis-themed show, about two retired women who were once a champion doubles team.

Lansbury, best-known for her 12-year stint in the TV mystery “Murder, She Wrote,” was last on the Rialto in an ill-fated 1983 revival of “Mame.” Other Broadway work includes the original 1966 Broadway production of “Mame,” as well as the preem of “Sweeney Tood” in 1979.

Off Broadway troupe Primary Stages originally planned to present “Deuce” as the final offering of its 2006-07 season. Once Lansbury signed on, though, the production was bumped up to Broadway.

Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson and Maberry Theatricals are presenting the show in association with Primary Stages. Production begins perfs in mid-April at the Music Box, which will host the limited run of another Rudin production, “The Vertical Hour,” opening Nov. 30.

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