NEW YORK (AP) — John Lithgow is returning to the New York stage with gusto in 2014 — first with Shakespeare's "King Lear" in Central Park this summer and then in a Broadway revival of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" this fall.

Says the two-time Tony Award winner: "They're two roles that I never intended to play in such proximity, but you can't turn them down."

Lithgow will be joined in the Albee play by Glenn Close, Lindsay Duncan, Bob Balaban, Clare Higgins and Martha Plimpton. It will be directed by Pam MacKinnon, with previews beginning Oct. 20.

Though he's never performed the play before, Lithgow has a long history with it. As a drama student in 1969, he coached the American accents for the Royal Shakespeare Company's British premiere production.

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