CHAMPCAR/CART: Paul Newman in "Our Town"

After 35 years, Newman takes stage. WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Paul Newman is returning to the stage for the first time in 35 years. The Oscar winner will star in ``Our Town'' next month at the Westport Country Playhouse, which is near his ...

After 35 years, Newman takes stage.

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Paul Newman is returning to the stage for the first time in 35 years.

The Oscar winner will star in ``Our Town'' next month at the Westport Country Playhouse, which is near his home.

The movie star and Westport resident was not the first choice for the lead role of stage manager in the Thornton Wilder play.

Joanne Woodward - the theater's artistic director, and Newman's wife - said she didn't think of her husband for the lead when she chose the play to open the theater's 72nd season.

"It wouldn't have dawned on me to ask him!" Woodward said Wednesday.

When they discussed the play a few months ago, Newman said, "I could play that role."

"And I said, `Of course, you could,' and then I went and took a bath. When I came back into the room, he said, `Listen to this a minute,' and then he recited the whole first speech (from the play)," Woodward said. "I was stunned."

"Our Town," which won Wilder the Pulitzer Prize in 1938, is set in 1903 in Grovers Corners, N.H., and explores the appreciation of everyday pleasures.

-nhr/ap-

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Series IndyCar , General
Drivers Paul Newman