Saturday, May 18, 2024

Theater Exclusive: Legendary Cicely Tyson, Ageless 94, Considering Coming Back to Broadway in a New Play


Well, I ran into Cicely Tyson on Broadway and 77th St. the other day before I saw Jerry Seinfeld’s remarkable new show at the Beacon.

Ms. Tyson was by herself, buying “goodies” at Maison Keyser, across the street. She is so tiny she’s easy to miss. She was, however, carting around a rolling filing cabinet that almost her size.

“What’s in there?” I asked.

She replied, “A new playing I’m considering. I just had a six hour meeting about it.”

“You’re going to do a new play?” I asked incredulously. She just turned 94 in December.

“I hope so,” she said. Yes she said it with a twinkle in her eye. She is serious. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in “The Trip to Bountiful” in 2013. She last appeared on Broadway in “The Gin Game” in 2016.

What else?

“You know, I was just given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oscars.”

I nodded.

“I never heard of it before. But when I got it, I cried like Niagara Falls. Do you hear me? Like Niagara Falls. I never in the world thought I’d get something like that.”

The event was held last November in Hollywood. She’d just gotten back to New York from L.A. where she’d filmed her most recent episode of “How To Get Away with Murder.”

“I said, Oh I have to go back there again?” She twinkled. “But I’m glad I did.”

And that’s all you need to make your day, really. She almost forgot her sweets, all bagged up, so I ran to give them to her. No car, no driver, no publicist, no assistant.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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