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‘Miracle Worker’ returns to the stage

Patty Duke
Patty Duke

Interplayers’ revival will feature most of the same cast

Can a “Miracle” strike twice?

Interplayers Professional Theatre certainly hopes so. Interplayers is reviving its hit springtime production of William Gibson’s “The Miracle Worker” for 10 more performances beginning Friday.

The director, a certain Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress, sees no reason why it shouldn’t be “just as good as ever.”

In fact, Patty Duke said she has re-staged two key scenes to bring the action even closer to the audience.

“The energy is stronger,” said Duke, who made her name with this play starting more than 50 years ago on Broadway.

The revival will have another, even more significant, difference: a new Helen Keller. Sophia Caruso, excellent in the first run, has been replaced by another talented 9-year-old, Caroline Slater.

“Caroline is very different in looks, but she knows every move, backwards and forwards,” said Duke. “Each of us who plays Helen brings her own thing to it.”

Slater was exceedingly well prepared for the auditions. One of her friends, the understudy in the original run, taught her the entire “fight” scene, move by move, and filmed it for YouTube.

“She already had an edge, because she knew the toughest part of the show,” said Duke, with a laugh.

Most of the cast will be the same as in the original run. Sarah Denison will reprise her powerful performance as Annie Sullivan.

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