Angela Lansbury as Leona Mullen in 'Deuce'
|Written by||Terrence McNally|
|Date premiered||May 6, 2007|
|Setting||USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park|
Deuce is a play by Terrence McNally. The Broadway production, directed by Michael Blakemore, starred Angela Lansbury as blue collar Leona Mullen and Marian Seldes as well-bred Midge Barker, two former successful tennis partners, now retired, who reunite to be honored at a women's quarterfinals match at the US Open. It began previews at the Music Box Theatre on April 11, 2007 and opened on May 6. It ended its limited run on August 19, 2007, after 27 previews and 121 performances.
As the two women watch the match, they reminisce about such luminaries as Althea Gibson and Babe Didrikson Zaharias and complain about the lack of form and scanty dress of the players, while commentators Kelly Short and Ryan Becker share patter and a starstruck middle-aged fan offers soliloquies about his idols.
The production marked Lansbury's first time on the Broadway stage since her performance in the 1983 revival of Mame. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play but lost to Julie White for The Little Dog Laughed.
- Producers ..... Scott Rudin, The Shubert Organization, Roger Berlind, Stuart Thompson, Maberry Theatricals, Debra Black, Bob Boyett, Susan Dietz, Daryl Roth
- Scenic Design ..... Peter J. Davison
- Costume Design ..... Ann Roth
- Lighting Design ..... Mark Henderson
- Sound Design .... Paul Charlier
In his review in the New York Times, Ben Brantley called the play a "flimsy excuse for a comedy" and "a grab bag of synthetic scraps of sentimental truisms and grumpy-old-broad humor." He added, "[Angela Lansbury] is so vitally and indelibly present that she even occasionally gives flesh to a play as wispy as ectoplasm . . . [she] comes close to creating something like a fully woven character out of the random threads she has been given." 
Eric Grode of The New York Sun described the play as a "moldy new comedy . . . [that] has stumbled onto Broadway with the grace of a John McEnroe temper tantrum. This dispiriting waste of talent and time exists solely to let two grandes dames of the theater . . . engage in the sort of banter and bathos that went out of style with The Gin Game . . . That these exchanges generate even a tiny handful of laughs has everything to do with the formidable pair of actresses and virtually nothing to do with Mr. McNally or director Michael Blakemore, who appears to have staged the play when he had a few hours to kill one afternoon."