SEND IN THE CLONES
Boy! is Steve Sondheim ever steamed that a nonmusical Sweeney Todd is getting to the big screen before the long-delayed movie of his 1979 Tony winner! John Schlesinger, who earned an Oscar directing Midnight Cowboy, is pulling together just such a project in London that will tell the tale of "the demon barber of Fleet Street" with nary a note of Sondheim. The underscoring will be done by the composer who did the background music for Schlesinger's Far From the Madding Crowd: Richard Rodney Bennett. SMITH AND KRAUS
New to the world of play-publishing and already knee-deep in it is Smith and Kraus, a New Hampshire concern, which has aggressively corralled for publication the collected works of Christopher Durang, A.R. Gurney, Eric Overmyer, John Guare, Jane Martin, Romulus Linney and William Mastrosimone; Ibsen, Israel Horovitz, Chekhov, Terrence McNally, Lanford Wilson and Horton Foote all rate two volumes. The plays are down-to-wire current, too from Wilson's translation of Three Sisters, which just got a starry staging at Roundabout, to a couple of Humana Festival '96 entries, which went into New York production (Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare at The Public and John Patrick Shanley's Missing Marisa/Kissing Christine at Primary Stages).
STARS LINE UP FOR GOOD AS NEW
Of all the fine acting filling the Marvin's Room film, it was Diane Keaton who made the Oscar running in the role that won Laura Esterman a Drama Desk Award. You'd better believe the movie divas were lined up to catch Esterman's latest, Peter Hedges's Good As New at Manhattan Class Company. Sally Field, Cher, Marlo Thomas and Goldie Hawn are positively panting after the part. Yes, the inevitable movie deal is in the works, and it's said that Anna Paquin (the Oscar-winning type of The Piano) has a lock on the daughter role. . . . Applause Books is just putting out the paperback version of Alan Zweibel's valentine to the late Gilda Radner, Bunny Bunny in time for the opening of the play version of that book at the Lucille Lortel. . . . Alfred Uhry took time off from polishing his Broadway hit (The Last Night of Ballyhoo) to do an uncredited script-assist on Paradise Road, a fact-based World War II saga from Down Under. The director and credited screenwriter is Bruce Beresford, the man who steered Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy into the Oscar winners' circle.