- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cherry Jones, star of the moral drama called “Doubt,” definitely has staying power. Asked how she could put up with performing on the road three years after the play’s Broadway debut, she gave the truly committed actor’s reply: “To have the opportunity and privilege of creating a role and see it become a phenomenon. … I want to be the one to put it to bed.”

The play dubbed “a parable” by its author John Patrick Shanley, has won multiple Tonys and just about every other theatrical award possible. Now on stage through next week at the National Theatre, it ends its run May 20 in Philadelphia. Miss Jones’ performance as the principled head of a Catholic school in the Bronx in the late 1960s left no doubt about her abilities to command audience attention.

“At least one Supreme Court justice has come,” she added slyly. “I hope they will tell the others.”

Donn B. Murphy, the theater’s president, called her “a working actor who really loves her life” and said she readily agreed to shake hands with everyone invited to a party he is hosting for theater donors.

Also celebrating Tuesday at an opening night cast party in the M&S; Grill was Washington native Caroline Stefanie Clay, a 1986 graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. “I’m just overwhelmed,” she said of the play’s reception here and her chance to perform at the historic National Theatre. She began her association with “Doubt” as an understudy in the off-Broadway version and later joined the cast — which is only four-members strong — on Broadway.

— Ann Geracimos

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