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Diane Lane takes the stage in Chicago play

Associated Press Modified: September 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm •  Published: September 22, 2012
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CHICAGO (AP) — More than two decades after she last graced the stage in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," Academy Award-nominated actress Diane Lane is returning to the theater in a Chicago production of Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth."

Lane will star opposite rising Broadway actor Finn Wittrock at the Goodman Theatre, playing faded movie star Princess Kosmonopolis in the production that opens Monday and runs through Oct. 28. She will portray an older woman being used by a younger man to win back his former lover.

"I think that timing is everything in terms of the readiness for taking on a new challenge," Lane said in an interview. "A show this large and a role this demanding, certainly I've made jokes about it — mid-life crisis martyrdom or empty-nest freak out. It's sort of now or never."

Lane, 47, is best known for her star Hollywood turns in major films like "The Perfect Storm," ''Unfaithful" and "Secretariat." They have earned her nominations for Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards.

But Lane said she grew up with a theatrical background, first acting in a New York production of "Medea" at age 6. And she said returning to her roots is "sort of like a bicycle."

"I crave rehearsal," she said. "I love the team sport of sharing the process rather than it being some isolated moment."

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