Mariah to Channel Marilyn On Stage

11/04/2003 at 01:00 PM EST

Mariah Carey's movie "Glitter" may have tanked, but she's not giving up on acting.

The pop diva, 33, will go into rehearsals in January for a London stage production of the vintage comedy "The Sleeping Prince," by British playwright Terrence Rattigan ("The Winslow Boy"), reports Variety.

The play is best known for its 1957 movie incarnation, called "The Prince and the Showgirl," starring Laurence Olivier (as the prince) and Marilyn Monroe (as, well, figure it out). Olivier also directed the movie.

In 1956, "The Sleeping Prince" opened on Broadway with Barbara Bel Geddes and Michael Redgrave (father of Lynn and Vanessa) in a production that lasted only 60 performances.

Producer Bill Kenwright reportedly made the announcement about Carey and the play at Sunday's opening-night party for his Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," starring Ashley Judd, Jason Patric and Ned Beatty.

"The stage is appealing to stars," the British producer tells Variety. "Mariah Carey wants to get rid of the glitz and tassels. She wants to be an actress. She's not this diva."

Kenwright was not ready to name Carey's prince or her director for the impending production. Nor could he name his London venue.

"I can't tell you, not yet," he told Variety, which points out that both "The Sleeping Prince" and "The Prince and the Showgirl" included one song -- "The Coconut Girl" onstage and "I Am Glad" onscreen.

Asked if Carey will also sing in this new stage version, Kenwright replied: "Possibly."

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