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There are two surprises in that headline, and I’ll guess that the bigger shock is that The Exorcist — the 1973 horror classic that wrought hellish nightmares on a generation — will take the stage in a new adaptation (of the original novel) at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse. And yes, Brooke Shields will be playing the mother.

The play will frighten audiences courtesy of Tony Award-winning director John Doyle, the Tim Burton of the theater community, well-known for his genre-challenging productions (like his everybody-plays-their-own-instrument mountings of Sweeney Todd and Company). In Doyle’s wicked world premiere, stage and screen vet Shields joins a cast that includes Richard Chamberlain as Father Merrin, Manoel Felciano as Father Joe, Stephen Bogardus as Dr. Strong and young Emily Yetter as the possessed Regan. Shields is set to play Chris MacNeil, the renowned actress who struggles to understand her daughter’s demonic behavior (Bieber fever, perhaps?).

The Exorcist will play the Gil Cates Theater from July 3 through August 12, and although it’s thankfully not a musical, feel free to peruse our gallery of movies that will soon be coming to a theater near you.

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