Bankhead bio-play banks on Broadway

“Looped,” the comedy about Tallulah Bankhead toplined by Valerie Harper, has nailed down a Broadway run that opens at the Lyceum Theater in March.

Show had been billed as pre-Broadway in prior incarnations at the Pasadena Playhouse (where it bowed in 2008), Arena Stage in Washington D.C. and the Cuillo Center in Palm Beach. All those outings starred Harper.

Play is penned by Matthew Lombardo, who wrote the Katharine Hepburn bio-play “Tea at Five” that had a 2003 Off Broadway run. Rob Ruggiero (“Ella,” “Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn”) directs.

Plot centers on Bankhead’s comically stormy visit to a sound studio to re-record a line of dialogue for the actress’ final feature, the 1965 pic “Die, Die My Darling!”

Tony Cacciotti (“All Under Heaven”), Chase Mishkin (“The Story of My Life”), David Steiner (“Golda’s Balcony”) and Leonard Soloway produce the Broadway incarnation. An Off Broadway show about Pearl S. Buck, “All Under Heaven” starred Harper and was directed by Ruggiero.

Harper most recently appeared on Broadway in a 2001 stint in “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” She also toured with “Allergist’s” and with “Golda’s Balcony.”

Creative team for “Looped” includes Adrian W. Jones (set), William Ivey Long (costumes), Ken Billington (lights) and Michael Hooker/Peter Fitzgerald (sound).

“Looped” begins previews at the Lyceum Feb. 19 ahead of a March 14 opening. The Lyceum’s current tenant, Lincoln Center Theater’s “In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play,” wraps up its limited run Jan. 10.

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