03/28/2008 02:46 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mary-Louise Parker's Return To Stage

Mary-Louise Parker tried to get out of this interview. She said so halfway through. Not in a confrontational way, just matter-of-factly, as if she were saying she hadn't ordered those fries but had started to eat them anyway.

Interviews, however, come with newsworthy events, and it is worth reporting that Ms. Parker is back on the New York stage after four years' absence -- her longest stretch away from the theater since she was 17. She is starring in "Dead Man's Cell Phone," Sarah Ruhl's new play, opening Tuesday night at Playwrights Horizons. Kathleen Chalfant also stars, and Anne Bogart is the director.

In the acting firmament Ms. Parker, 43, is in a remarkably good place. She is not among those New York theater pros who show up as nameless cabdrivers or crime witnesses on television shows or in Hollywood movies; she is too famous for that. She is among the best and brightest on the small screen, with standout roles in HBO's "Angels in America" and NBC's "West Wing" and now going into her fourth season as a suburban pot dealer, Nancy Botwin, on the darkly comic Showtime series "Weeds."

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