Playwrights Horizons announced in December that it had commissioned FAR FROM HEAVEN, a new musical with book by Tony Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain), music by Tony Award nominee Scott Frankel (Grey Gardens) and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Michael Korie (Grey Gardens, The Grapes of Wrath). The musical is being adapted from the acclaimed, award-winning 2002 Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture Far From Heaven, written and directed by Todd Haynes. The show was commissioned as aprt of their Musicals in Partnership Initiative, which would see the show co-produced with a regional theatre partner.
The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones now reports that Chicago's Goodman Theatre is the preferred regional partner for the project, which would ideally materialize in the 2010-11 season.
A Goodman spokesman told Jones that the theater was "in conversations" with Playwrights Horizons.
To read Jones' article, click here.
FAR FROM HEAVEN tells the story of Cathy Whitaker, a 1950s housewife living in suburban Hartford who watches as her seemingly perfect life begin to fall apart. The film echoes "women's films" of the 1950s (especially those of Douglas Sirk, director of All That Heaven Allows and Imitation of Life) to tell a story that deals with complex contemporary issues including sexual and racial prejudice.
FAR FROM HEAVEN has been commissioned under the auspices of the Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative, which was created through a visionary grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program allows Playwrights Horizons to develop new works of musical theater, each in partnership with a Regional theater - wholly within the not-for-profit system. This seven-year program aims to commission at least four new works of musical theater and develop and produce three or four full-scale productions. Each of the three musicals will be produced at both one specific Regional partner and at Playwrights Horizons. A regional theater producing partner will be announced in future months, along with a director and production timetable.
The original 2002 film, which stars Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert and Patricia Clarkson, has earned over 100 awards, honors and nominations. It was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Actress (Julianne Moore), Best Original Screenplay (Todd Haynes), Best Cinematography (Edward Lachman) and Best Original Score (Elmer Bernstein), and was named one of the 10 Best Movies of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly. It was also named Best Film of the Year by the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and the Village Voice, among many others. Far From Heaven also earned 4 Golden Globe nominations including Best Screenplay, a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and a bevy of additional awards for leading actress Julianne Moore, including one from the National Board of Review Award and nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes.
With FAR FROM HEAVEN, Playwrights Horizons continues its commitment to developing unique and ground-breaking new musicals, including Grey Gardens, James Joyce's The Dead, Floyd Collins, Assassins, Once on This Island and Sunday in the Park with George. FAR FROM HEAVEN reunites the theater company with Mr. Frankel and Mr. Korie, the composer and lyricist of Grey Gardens, which was one of Playwrights Horizons' most heralded original musicals. The project also marks the long-awaited return to the theater company of Mr. Greenberg, who was last represented there in 1987 with his play The Maderati.
"FAR FROM HEAVEN is an exciting project for this illustrious team of writers and this theater to collaborate on," said Artistic Director Tim Sanford. "The source material is a work of style and substance, with complex characters and large, timely themes. These qualities play to the strengths of each of these writers, and I am confident they will deliver a beautiful, humane work of real consequence."
Playwrights Horizons' season productions are generously supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.