Perry: From Beverly Hills to West End

updated 12/02/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/02/2003 12:05PM

London's West End is getting another American TV star, with onetime "Beverly Hills, 90210" heartthrob Luke Perry preparing to tread the boards in a stage adaptation of the 1989 romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally," to open in February.

Perry, 37, will assume the Billy Crystal role of Harry Burns, a guy who's known Sally Albright for years but fears, as does she, that sex would ruin their friendship.

Meg Ryan played Sally in the movie, but so far no actress has been named to take the stage role -- though producer James Tod tells Reuters that he expects the part to be played by an American.

Recent American TV stars to try their acting chops on the West End include fellow "90210" hunk Jason Priestley and "Friends" star Matthew Perry, who both were met by mixed critical receptions.

Tod said he wasn't put off by the prospect of bad notices: "If you've got a great project and a great performer, then it doesn't really matter," he says.

Marcy Kahan has adapted the Nora Ephron screenplay of "Harry" for this limited, 16-week production, which is scheduled to open Feb. 20 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Preview performances are to begin Feb. 10.

During the summer of 2001, the Ohio-born Perry played Broadway, in a revival of "The Rocky Horror Show," in the role of Brad Majors. At the time, he told PEOPLE that the strangest part of stage acting (at least for that role) was getting fitted for a bustier and corset.

"You ever worn one of those damn things?" said Perry. "Well, it ain't too comfortable. Fishnet stockings ... all of that. I am not remotely glamorous, and now I know why: It's just too much trouble."

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