Ms. Janney will play Ouisa Kittredge, a role made famous by Stockard Channing in a stage production in 1990 and on film in 1993. The play, by John Guare, is about a young impostor who lies his way into the home, and the lives, of a wealthy Upper East Side family.
“I saw Stockard do it onstage, and was amazed that there hadn’t been a revival since then — it’s a really great play, and I jumped right on board,” Ms. Janney said in a telephone interview. “I’m actually a little nervous about it, because I’ve been away from the theater for a bit, but it’s what I love, and I feel like it is what I was meant to do.”
Ms. Janney said she found herself drawn to the conceit expressed in the play’s title, as well as the details of the story.
“I love the idea of six degrees of separation — that we’re all connected somehow, universally — and there are some really human things that drive this play, with the con artist, and the art,” she said. “It’s a lovely multilayered play that’s complex, and I can’t wait to discover the character.”
The play was originally produced by Lincoln Center Theater, first Off Broadway and then on Broadway, where it ran for nearly 500 performances and won a Tony Award for best direction, by Jerry Zaks.
The revival, scheduled to open at the Barrymore Theater in April, will also star John Benjamin Hickey, a 2011 Tony Award winner for “The Normal Heart,” as Flan Kittredge. It is being produced by Stuart Thompson and Tim Levy, and directed by Trip Cullman, who is also directing “Significant Other” this season. The revival is scheduled to run for 15 weeks; the rest of the cast has not been announced.
The play will be Ms. Janney’s fourth Broadway show. She performed in a 1996 revival of “Present Laughter,” a 1997 revival of “A View from the Bridge” and the 2009 musical “9 to 5.” She was nominated for Tony Awards for her work in “A View from the Bridge” and “9 to 5.”
“Six Degrees of Separation” joins a Broadway season rich with play revivals. “The Cherry Orchard,” “The Front Page” and “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” have already begun performances, and still to come are “Burn This,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “The Price,” “Present Laughter” and “The Little Foxes.”
There are also productions of “Jitney,” an August Wilson play never previously staged on Broadway, and “The Present,” newly adapted from a Chekhov play best known as “Platonov,” that could be considered either revivals or new plays by the Tony Awards administration committee.