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Bette Midler, Glenn Close lead Broadway's spring offerings

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/7/2017 By MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer
FILE - This Jan. 25, 2017 file photo shows Glenn Close posing at a media opportunity to promote the Broadway revival of "Sunset Boulevard", at the Palace Theatre in New York. Close returns as the aging silent film star Norma Desmond. The English National Opera's stripped-down revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will land with a 40-piece orchestra under the direction of Lonny Price. Close won a Tony Award in 1995 as Desmond. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This Jan. 25, 2017 file photo shows Glenn Close posing at a media opportunity to promote the Broadway revival of "Sunset Boulevard", at the Palace Theatre in New York. Close returns as the aging silent film star Norma Desmond. The English National Opera's stripped-down revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will land with a 40-piece orchestra under the direction of Lonny Price. Close won a Tony Award in 1995 as Desmond. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Broadway titans in Bette Midler and Glenn Close return to the Great White Way this spring. Here's a look at some of the highlights:

A DIVINE RETURN?

Bette Midler will star in a revival of "Hello, Dolly!" offering theater-goers a chance to hear her sing "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," ''Before the Parade Passes By" and "So Long Dearie." The Divine Miss M, whose co-star will be David Hyde Pierce, steps into the role previously performed by Ethel Merman, Ginger Rogers, Barbra Streisand and, of course, Carol Channing. Previews begin March 15 at the Shubert Theatre.

NORMA DESMOND COMES BACK, TOO

Glenn Close will take her latest crack at the aging silent film star Norma Desmond from the musical "Sunset Boulevard." The English National Opera's stripped-down revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical starring Close will land with a 40-piece orchestra. Previews have begun at the Palace Theatre.

AND ANOTHER STAR RETURNS

Kevin Kline is returning to Broadway after a decade in a delightfully frantic comedy about a narcissistic actor and the chaos that inevitably erupts in his posh London household — Noel Coward's "Present Laughter." Previews begin March 10 at the St. James Theatre.

NEW THEATER

Jake Gyllenhaal will star in a revival of the musical "Sunday in the Park with George" that will be the first show in 50 years at the Hudson Theatre, which is being renovated into Broadway's 41st venue. Previews begin Feb. 11 at the Hudson Theatre.

GLASS CEILING

Just three years after the last Broadway revival of "The Glass Menagerie" left, it's coming back. Sally Field will play Amanda Wingfield, the faded Southern belle at the heart of the Tennessee Williams play. Previews begin Feb. 14 at the Golden Theatre.

IT'S ABOUT TIME

Hard to believe, but respected playwrights Lynn Nottage and Paula Vogel are only this spring making their Broadway debuts. Nottage, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Ruined," will offer "Sweat," about blue-collar workers in a Pennsylvania town. Vogel, whose "How I Learned to Drive" also won a Pulitzer, has her play "Indecent," a behind-the-scenes look at the true story of a controversial 1923 play. Previews for "Sweat" begin March 4 at the Studio 54 theater. Previews for "Indecent" begin April 4 at the Cort Theatre.

CON MAN

A revival of "Six Degrees of Separation" will star Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey as a rich New York couple who have a run-in with a young black man pretending to be a Harvard University student and actor Sidney Poitier's son. Previews begin in April at the Barrymore Theatre.

WELCOME BACK, MISS SAIGON

"Miss Saigon," a tragic Vietnam War love story inspired by Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly," will return in a grittier and less operatic version directed by Laurence Connor. Previews begin March 1 at the Broadway Theatre.

A RUSSIAN PRINCESS

The musical stage adaptation of the 1997 animated musical film "Anastasia" will reunite much of the creative team behind "Ragtime" — book writer Terrence McNally, composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens. Previews begin March 23 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

FRENCH CHARM

"Hamilton" star Phillipa Soo returns in "Amelie, a New Musical," leading a stage version of the quirky romantic film comedy that brought fame to actress Audrey Tatou. Previews begin March 9 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

VALUE OF SACRIFICE

The fourth revival of Arthur Miller's "The Price" will star Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shalhoub, Jessica Hecht and Danny DeVito. In "The Price," an embittered New York City police officer feels that life has passed him by while he took care of his now-dead father. Previews begin Feb. 16 at the American Airlines Theatre.

GOLDEN TICKET

Christian Borle will star as Willy Wonka in the musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." The show, which has songs by "Hairspray" writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, opened in London in 2013. Previews begin March 28 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

ACTS OF KINDNESS

"Come From Away," a musical set against the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is the true story of a Canadian town that sheltered thousands of airline passengers whose flights were diverted on Sept. 11, 2001. Previews begin Feb. 18 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.

IT'S HAPPENING. IT'S HAPPENING.

"Groundhog Day" is coming to Broadway. The musical based on the 1993 movie about a jaded weatherman forced to live the same day over and over will make the leap from London. Andy Karl will star in the Bill Murray role. Previews begin March 16 at the August Wilson Theatre.

WE'RE NOT MAKING THIS UP

The new musical "War Paint," about cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, will be putting its best face forward on Broadway with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. Previews begin March 7 at the Nederlander Theatre.

ENGLISH FARCE

A hit comedy from London that's been called "'Fawlty Towers' meets "Noises Off'" is heading to cheer up Americans. "The Play That Goes Wrong" will star the original West End cast. It centers on the fictitious drama society attempting to stage a 1920s murder mystery — and everything that can go wrong, does. Previews begin March 9 at the Lyceum Theatre.

SWING, SWING

Laura Osnes stars in the new musical "Bandstand," the story of six World War II veterans who join together in Cleveland to compete in a radio contest with dreams of stardom. Andy Blankenbuehler, a Tony winner who choreographed "Hamilton," will direct. Previews begin March 31 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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This story corrects the date and location of "Come From Away."

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