Cat Producers Recoup Investment; Will It Be a Film Next?

News   Cat Producers Recoup Investment; Will It Be a Film Next? Without earning a single 2008 Tony Award nomination, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is still smokin': Producer Stephen Byrd announced May 15 that he and his partners have recouped their $2.1 million capitalization.

Cat star Anika Noni Rose.
Cat star Anika Noni Rose. Photo by Joan Marcus

The recoupment happened in just 12 weeks.

The limited engagement of this African-American cast production of the Tennessee Williams classic will close as scheduled on June 22 at the Broadhurst. Cat began previews Feb. 12 and opened March 8.

This acclaimed landmark production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama — which has lured a multicultural audience — is directed by Debbie Allen. The staging's marquee names include Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, Tony winner James Earl Jones and Tony winner Anika Noni Rose.

Principals also include Lisa Arrindell Anderson, Lou Myers, Count Stovall and Giancarlo Esposito.

Variety reported that Byrd has snagged the rights to make a film version of the property, again with an African-American cast. Filming might begin in 2009 if Byrd can get the cast he wants.

Separately, a simulcast deal is also in the works to show the Broadway production as a special event at Regal Cinemas, according to the trade.

"Hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family in Tennessee Williams' stunning American masterpiece," according to production notes. "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof searingly portrays the larger-than-life characters of Maggie 'the Cat,' her alcoholic husband, Brick, and the domineering family patriarch, Big Daddy."

Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones in <i>Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.</i>
Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus
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