Thesp returns to the stage after 46 years

Martin Sheen will return to the stage in a revival of Frank D. Gilroy’s “The Subject Was Roses,” which replaces David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” as the season opener at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum in February.

Frances Conroy and Brian Geraghty (“The Hurt Locker”) co-star in the three-character play, to be directed by Neil Pepe, whose production of “Speed-the-Plow” was bumped to create a window for “Roses.”

Sheen has a long connection to the Pulitzer-winning drama. He received a Tony nomination in 1965 for his role as the son in the play’s Broadway premiere, reprising that role in the 1968 movie. This time he will take on the returning WWII soldier’s father, originally played by Jack Albertson.

Martin and I had been talking for some time about doing ‘The Subject Was Roses,'” said Center Theater Group artistic director Michael Ritchie in a statement. “When it appeared that the timing for the production was perfect for the opening slot in the new Taper season, I was pleased that we could move quickly.”

The production begins previews Feb. 10 for a Feb. 21 opening and runs through March 21.

Gilroy’s play received a major revival Off Broadway in 1991, with John Mahoney, Dana Ivey and Patrick Dempsey, and at the Kennedy Center in 2006, with Bill Pullman, Judith Ivey and Steve Kazee in a production that at that time was aiming for Broadway.

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