Fran Drescher, the nasal-voiced comedienne of TV's hit series "The Nanny," is in negotiations to star in the Broadway-bound comedy, Sweet Deliverance, by Eric Houston. In early spring, producer Alexander Cohen optioned the play, which will likely start rehearsals in November and open in December.
Cohen said Times Drescher would play a hospital intern who transforms herself into "an amalgam of Dr. Kevorkian and Martha Stewart." He also said David Warren, who staged the Roundabout's Hurrah At Last, is in discussions to direct.
A production spokesperson at the David Rothenberg press office (July 9) confirmed Drescher's involvement but could add no further details on the project.
Sweet Deliverance was workshopped in 1994 as part of Barter Theatre of Abingdon, VA's Early Stages program. The show will receive a staged reading in New York, July 12.
Niko Associates/Carl Pasbjerg will serve as General Managers on the project. Producer Cohen, who also intends to mount an anniversary production of Noel Coward's Waiting In The Wings on Broadway this season, appeared in his own Off-Broadway show this past winter. In Star Billing, Cohen reflected on his theatrical successes (including Richard Burton's Hamlet, John Gielgud's School for Scandal, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming), his inevitable flops, as well as some of the infamous feuds he's had over the years, with names like Jerry Lewis, Marlene Dietrich, and the Shuberts.
The 78-year old Cohen began his producing career 57 years ago, when his Angel Street opened in 1941. Cohen also produced the televised Tony Awards for 20 years, as well as three "Night of 100 Stars" specials. He has received countless awards including a Tony, Emmy, Oscar, Theatre World's Showman of the Year, The Shubert Foundation Award and numerous others.
-- By David Lefkowitz