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David Arquette, Julian Sands to join Annette Bening in 'The Female of the Species'

December 17, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Bening The Geffen Playhouse's starry production of "The Female of the Species," scheduled to open on Feb. 10, just got a bit starrier.

As was previously announced, Annette Bening will play the lead role in the drama written by Joanna Murray-Smith. Today, the company said that David Arquette and Julian Sands will join the cast, along with New York theater veterans Mireille Enos, Josh Stamberg and Merritt Wever.

Loosely based on real events, "The Female of the Species" tells the story of a feminist scholar (Bening) who is struggling with her latest book when a disgruntled former student (Wever) enters with a plan to take the professor hostage. Along for the ride are the professor's daughter (Enos), her son-in-law (Arquette), her longtime publisher (Sands) and a cab driver (Josh Stamberg).

The Geffen production will be the play's U.S. premiere, following stagings in London and Melbourne, Australia. Randall Arney, who is currently the Geffen's artistic director, will direct the play.

Bening's history with the "The Female of the Species" is somewhat complicated. The Oscar-nominated actress (and wife of Warren Beatty) had originally signed up to star in the play in February 2008 at the Geffen. There was even talk about the production transferring to Broadway following its L.A. run. However, plans fell through when Bening withdrew from the play citing "personal reasons," according to reports.

The Geffen decided to wait for Bening's schedule to open up again rather than stage the play with another actress.

-- David Ng

Photo: Annette Bening. Credit: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

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