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Photo via Shutterstock
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Kevin Spacey will portray famous lawyer Clarence Darrow at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Kevin Spacey is coming to Queens this summer to perform a one-man play about Clarence Darrow, the famous attorney who represented Tennessee high school teacher John Scopes in the Scopes Monkey Trial.

The play, titled “Clarence Darrow,” made its Broadway premiere in 1974. Spacey starred in the play when it premiered at The Old Vic in London and will make its New York debut at Arthur Ashe Stadium on June 15 and 16.

Spacey, a two-time Academy Award winner who currently stars on the Netflix drama “House of Cards” as President Frank Underwood, plays Darrow and recounts some of the famous trials over which the Ohio lawyer presided.

In the infamous 1925 Scopes Monkey trial, Darrow defended Scopes who violated Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it illegal for teachers to teach evolution in state-funded schools.

Darrow was also fiercely against the death penalty and took on high-profile murder cases to criticize capital punishment. He represented Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two Chicago teenagers who murdered 14-year-old Robert Franks.

Leopold and Loeb came from wealthy families and were extremely intelligent, carrying out the kidnapping and murder to prove their superiority and ability to commit the “perfect crime.” Darrow performed a 12-hour summation at Leopold and Loeb’s sentencing hearing and criticized capital punishment for being a form of retributive justice. The teenagers were sentenced to life in prison rather than the death penalty.

Spacey played Darrow before this one-man play in a 1991 PBS film called “DARROW” where he portrayed the lawyer through three decades of his life. He also played Darrow in the 2009 theatrical production of “Inherit the Wind.”

On his website, the actor said he first came across the 1974 play in high school.

“I jumped at the opportunity of tackling this character again, as I continue to find his rich, sympathetic personality and fertile mind intriguing, even though by now he is a character that I have come to know very well,” Spacey wrote. “I also feel the play is uplifting – an examination of the best in all of us. This is especially significant when so many of the things we observe and are confronted with in this world highlight the worst of humanity.”

Tickets are $89 and officially go on sale on May 5. The play will last 90 minutes.

KEVIN SPACEY POSTER

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