Angela Lansbury revealed this morning that she won’t be returning to Broadway next season after all. The five-time Tony winner said in June that she would head a revival of Enid Bagnold’s 1955 mysterious comedy The Chalk Garden, with Scott Rudin and Andrew Bryan producing. No other details were forthcoming at the time, though Rudin told Deadline that Lansbury’s devotion to the project was the reason for revisiting the play. Lansbury today said that the rigors of a seven or eight performance week are “a bit too much for me to handle at this time.”
“I have decided against coming back to Broadway,” she said Wednesday morning in an interview with broadwayworld.com. “I think that a play is just a bit too much for me to handle at this time, so I am not going to do The Chalk Garden. I’m very sorry to have to announce that, because I know that a lot of people are interested … and it’s such a good play. Certain things become self-evident, and to me it appears that I shouldn’t get involved with something that leaves me on my own here in the city — chomping through the snow and doing all those things when you’re doing a play. I’m feeling fine, my health is very good, but nevertheless I have moments where I realize that I’m not the person I was maybe 5 years ago, or 10 years ago. That’s the truth of the matter.”
Revived several times on Broadway and in the West End, the play was also adapted in the 1964 film starring Edith Evans, Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills and John Mills. The Murder, She Wrote star last appeared on Broadway in a 2012 revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man and as a stage actress is best known for her legendary performances in Sweeney Todd, Gypsy and Mame.
Rudin had no comment.