Scarlett Johansson is slinking her way back to Broadway as Maggie the Cat.
"The Avengers" actress will star opposite Benjamin Walker ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") in a new revival of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," in a role most commonly associated with Elizabeth Taylor.
But Johansson brings with her some formidable theater chops to the role of the sex-starved Maggie. Her previous foray onto Broadway, the 2010 revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From a Bridge," scored her a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play.
Ben Brantley, the often irascible theater critic for the New York Times, raved about her performance in the kitchen-sink drama, writing, "Ms. Johansson melts into her character so thoroughly that her nimbus of celebrity disappears."
In contrast to that play, Williams' sultry melodrama will allow Johansson plenty of opportunities for glamor-pussing and sizzle. Her character, a desperately unhappy woman, flaunts her sexuality in an attempt to draw her repressed homosexual husband Brick (Walker) back to the marriage bed.
Rounding out the cast are Ciarán Hinds, who last appeared on Broadway in 2007 production of Conor McPherson's "The Seafarer, as the domineering Big Daddy; and Tony Award-winning actress Debra Monk as his long-suffering wife, Big Mama.
Tony Award winner director-choreographer Rob Ashford, will direct. He recently staged the revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" with Daniel Radcliffe.
Preview performances will begin Dec. 18 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Opening night is Jan. 17.
The play is produced by Stuart Thompson.