Actress to star in Chicago production

Diane Lane will topline a fall staging of Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” this fall at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

She’ll be joined in the cast by Finn Wittrock, the thesp who attracted attention on Broadway earlier this year in the starry spring revival of “Death of a Salesman.”

Cromer (“Our Town,” “Tribes”) had been in the mix last year for a brewing Rialto staging of “Sweet Bird” that at one point could have starred Nicole Kidman and James Franco, but that production never materialized.

Lane will play the faded, drunken movie star Princess Kosmonopolis in the 1959 Tennessee Williams play about a gigolo and wannabe actor (Wittrock) who returns from Hollywood to his hometown in Florida.

“Sweet Bird” is part of a 2012-13 slate at the Goodman that also will include a newly announced revival of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” helmed by a.d. Robert Falls, whose recent production there of “The Iceman Cometh,” starring Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, logged the best box office in the regional theater’s history.

Lane’s stage credits include early work at Gotham downtown outpost La MaMa as well as a 1977 Lincoln Center Theater production of “The Cherry Orchard.”

Goodman’s season opens with “Sweet Bird of Youth” (Sept. 15-Oct. 25) and also will include “Other Desert Cities,” “The Happiest Song Plays Last” and a new stage version of “The Jungle Book.”

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