Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes

Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon alternate playing the roles of Regina and Birdie in Lillian Hellman’s legendary play about greed and ambition.

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Set in Alabama in 1900, Lillian Hellman’s play follows Regina Giddens and her ruthless clan, including her sister-in-law Birdie, as they clash in often brutal ways in an effort to strike the deal of their lives. Far from a sentimental look at a bygone era, the play has a surprisingly timely resonance with important issues facing our country today.


  • While it is unusual for two Broadway performers to alternate in a pair of starring roles—switching back and forth at various performances of the same production—it is not unprecedented. For example, in 2000 Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly nightly traded the roles of Lee and Austin in Sam Shephard’s True West.
  • Hellman took the play’s title from the biblical Song of Solomon: “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines; for our vines have tender grapes” (King James version, 2:15).


The play debuted on Broadway in 1939, with a Hollywood film version following in 1941. It is the source material for the Mark Blitzstein opera Regina. This is the play’s fourth Broadway revival.


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