EXCLUSIVE: Melinda Page Hamilton, best known as the wife of the real Don Draper who befriends Jon Hamm’s identity thief in Mad Men, has been cast as the female lead opposite Kevin Bacon in Hartford Stage’s world premiere production of Rear Window. Playwright Keith Reddin’s adaptation is based on the Cornell Woolrich short story (about a man confined to his New York apartment who believes he’s witnessed a murder), which also served as the basis of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr and Thelma Ritter.
Hamilton, also known for recurring roles on USA network’s Dig and Lifetime’s Devious Maids, previously worked with the play’s director Darko Tresnjak (Tony winner for A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder) in a revival of Bell Book And Candle at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. Although Grace Kelly played Lisa Carol Framont, an East Side siren in love with Stewart’s rougher-hewn photographer, Reddin has replaced the character with a woman named Gloria, played by Hamilton, the only female in the cast; she also doubles as (spoiler alert:) the murder victim.
Rear Window is set to run from October 22 through November 15, with an eye to a Broadway transfer by producers Charlie Lyons, Jay Russell and Jeff Steen, who are underwriting the nonprofit company’s production. Hamilton is repped by SDB Partners and Sager Entertainment.