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Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart heading to Broadway

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm •  Published: January 24, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Serious theater fans have a reason to suddenly freak out: Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will team up on Broadway this fall in two of the most iconic plays of the 20th century.

Producers announced Thursday that Stewart and McKellen will star in Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land" and Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" which will play in repertoire under the direction of Sean Mathias.

The Broadway theater, performance dates, the two supporting actors and the schedule of performances will be announced later.

Stewart and McKellen starred in a production of "Waiting for Godot" in London's West End in 2009. Prior to Broadway, they'll tackle "No Man's Land" in an as-yet-unspecified out-of-town tryout this summer.

Mathias told The Associated Press all three men struggled to make "Waiting for Godot" as honest and realistic as possible — an approach they'll likely replicate with Pinter's play.

"What we tried to do, with so much effort, was make it real. Make them human beings, compassionate, funny, flawed and vulnerable and cocky — all the things human beings are," Mathias said. "We never wanted to make it esoteric. I'm sure this is how we will approach the Pinter as well."

Stewart, 72, and McKellen, 73, first worked together in 1977 in Tom Stoppard's "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour." They've also starred in the "X-Men" movie franchise as Professor Xavier and Magneto.

Stewart will play Vladimir in "Waiting for Godot" and Hirst in "No Man's Land;" McKellen will play Estragon in "Waiting for Godot" and Spooner in "No Man's Land."

"My main feeling is it's lovely to be back with friends and it will be lovely to be back in New York," said McKellen, who is doing a sit-com in England and next goes to Middle Earth to film scenes for "The Hobbit" franchise. "But I've got an awful lot to do in the meantime."

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