Diane Lane in Sweet Bird of Youth
Finn Wittrock and Diane Lane in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Goodman Theatre

For those who have seen Diane Lane only in the movies (Unfaithful, Under the Tuscan Sun)—and secretly harbor the suspicion that many film actors don’t have what it takes to own the stage—Diane Lane is a revelation.

Starring in the new Goodman Theatre production of Tennessee William’s Sweet Bird of Youth, the 47-year-old Lane plays an aging, substance-abusing Hollywood star who has become dependent on a young gigolo (the impressive Finn Wittrock) who is long on ambition but short on common sense.

I’m sorry to say that I had never before seen this 1959 classic. But according to no less an authority than New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley, this David Cromer-directed production is “a thing of ripe, pulpy beauty, especially as acted by these two [Lane and Wittrock], who blur, if not banish, memories of Geraldine Page and Paul Newman, who created the parts onstage and on screen.”

The play runs through October 28. Tickets are available at the Goodman's website.


Photograph: Liz Lauren