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Spacey searches for a Hollywood leading lady



Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR-winning actor, and West End supporter, Kevin Spacey, is looking to entice one of Hollywood's leading ladies to appear alongside him on the London stage.

The American Beauty actor, who has invested in the Old Vic, is keen to appear in a revival of the comedy, The Philadelphia Story, and is said to be courting the interest of an A-list star, such as Cameron Diaz or Gwyneth Paltrow, to share top billing with him, at the Old Vic, next Spring.

Paltrow is no stranger to the West End, having appeared in Proof last year, while Diaz was tipped (along with Reece Witherspoon) for the lead role in When Harry Met Sally, when the production was first announced. The role subsequently went to Buffy/American Pie star, Alyson Hannigan.

The Philadelphia Story was originally written for Katharine Hepburn, by Philip Barry, and she starred in it on Broadway, and in a highly successful film version, opposite Cary Grant and James Stewart.

It was later turned into the movie musical, High Society, where it enjoyed yet more success.

Spacey is keen for the play to be part of his first season as artistic director of the Old Vic, during which four shows are planned, with the first opening in September.

No further details have yet been released of plans for the season, although rumours abound that he may be about to offer Sir Ian McKellen the chance to realise his stage dream, of playing Dame Widow Twankey, in a pantomime version of Aladdin, over the Christmas period - a role he alluded to at last year’s X-Men 2 press conference, in London.

Executives close to Spacey confirmed they were looking into six or seven options for the season, but added that the show in the most precarious state was The Philadelphia Story.

London’s Evening Standard, however, remains confident that it will be part of the package he announces in due course.

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