The media mogul could be costarring with Audra McDonald during the 2015-16 season

By Stephen M. Silverman
February 07, 2014 09:05 AM
Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Walter McBride/Getty

Oprah Winfrey has trod the Broadway boards before – only strictly behind the scenes, as a major investor in the not-quite-successful production of the 2005 musical The Color Purple.

But now the media mogul, who helped bid a fond farewell to Jay Leno Thursday night, may actually appear in the flesh before New York theater audiences during the 2015-16 season.

The vehicle, reports The New York Times, is likely to be a revival of Marsha Norman’s somber 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘night, Mother.

The two-character drama, about a mother’s last-ditch attempt to prevent her daughter from committing suicide, originally starred Kathy Bates as the daughter, Jessie, and Anne Pitoniak as the mother, Thelma. Bates then played the mother in the 1986 movie adaptation, which costarred Sissy Spacek as the daughter.

Mentioned to play the daughter with Winfrey, 60, in the potential revival – reps did not comment on either’s participation – is 43-year-old Audra McDonald, who usually can’t step onto a stage without winning a Tony.

Her last one – her fifth – was for 2011’s The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. The only other five-time Tony winners are Angela Lansbury, 88, and the late Julie Harris.

“Oprah has had a longstanding desire to act on Broadway,” lead producer Scott Sanders told The Times. “She understands how unique and challenging performing live on stage will be as an actress.”

George C. Wolfe, who has his own fair share of Tonys (most recently for last year’s Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks), would direct, says the newspaper, which also reports that Winfrey, McDonald and Wolfe held a reading of ‘night, Mother in Sanders’s apartment last year.