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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at Westport Country Playhouse (regional)

Published May 27 2008

Although he's consistently denied tabloid reports that he's spent the past several months undergoing cancer treatment, Paul Newman has now admitted to battling serious health issues. The confession came because he's been forced to bow out of directing John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men this fall at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse.

In the past, Newman's reps told the press his most pressing medical concerns were athlete's foot and hair loss, but in a statement following his decision to step down, Newman said, I'm very sorry I can't be part of this Westport County Playhouse production, but I leave Of Mice and Men in Mark Lamos' very capable hands with the full support of my wife, Joanne Woodward, and Anne Keefe as Playhouse artisitc directors.

The former artistic director of Hartford Stage, Lamos helmed Our Country's Good and last year's acclaimed Broadway revival of Cymbeline.

Mice was to have been the first time Newman, 83, tried his hand at directing live theater. When last local theatergoers heard from the blue-eyed movie legend, he was playing the stage manager in a 2003 Broadway production of Our Town. Since then, the Hud and Hustler star - who'd already cut back his acting career to mostly voice work (e.g., Disney's Cars ) - officially retired from performing last May.

Of Mice and Men will still run Oct. 7-Nov. 1, 2008, at the Westport Country Playhouse ( No word yet on casting, though veteran designers Michael Yeargan (set) and Jane Greenwood (costumes) are already signed on.

Westport is currently offering Craig Wright's The Pavilion, through May 31, with the revue Hot `n Cole following June 10-28, David Wiltse's farce Scramble scrambling in, July 8-26, and Karoline Leach's Tryst finishing the summer Aug. 5-23. Joe Brancato, who staged the murder-melodrama off-Broadway, will again do the honors in Connecticut.


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