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Lansbury Revels in Her Broadway Return

By Michael Kuchwara

Angela Lansbury is ready for a little down time, but you still have a few weeks left to see her on stage in "Deuce," Terrence McNally's play about two tennis doubles champions who are reunited at the U.S. Open. It closes Aug. 19.

"I'm going to go back to my home in Ireland for a spell just to kind of chill," the four-time Tony winner said during a recent telephone interview. "Then I will come back to New York and probably go out to the Coast to see my family. I am going to kind of mix and match my time between the Coast and New York from here on.

"I really want to live the New York life and to be able to go to the theater and the opera and the ballet and indulge myself in all the things I missed for many, many years because I was always working. I don't intend to work nonstop. I'm not going to do that anymore."

Not that she didn't enjoy her stint in "Deuce," particularly performing with her co-star, Marian Seldes.

"Marian is an extraordinary woman," Lansbury said. "She has such love and consideration for everything theatrical — actors, writers, composers, everybody connected with the theater. She is besotted by theater. And she is one of the dearest people I have ever known."

The 81-year-old Lansbury said working in "Deuce" — her first Broadway appearance in nearly 25 years — is "a very intense experience ... certainly at my time of life. It takes a lot of energy, which, thank goodness, I have.

"People were so pleased that I came back," she said with a laugh. "They proceeded to give me an absolutely marvelous welcome. That's very heartwarming when you have been away for as long as I was."

Is there more theater in her future?

"I couldn't say. I always say, 'Never say never.' But I don't really, no. There certainly isn't anything pending, although a lot of plays are sent to me. But I really don't want to be tied into a long run on Broadway. You have to sign for a year." She'd like to do something like the "Encores!" concert series for a short run, but said, "I don't want to work that hard anymore."

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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