The film — starring Jennifer Holliday, Frances Sternhagen, Laurel Holloman, Elise Neal, Mark Webber, Liam Aiken, Billy Campbell, Gary Cole, Alice Drummond, Frances Fisher, Mason Gamble, Beth Grant, Tess Harper, S. Epatha Merkerson and Scott Openshaw — is set in the South in the 1940's and features a soundtrack with five new songs from Holliday, David Foster and Lisa Thompson.
The DVD will boast several extra features, including an alternate ending, five deleted scenes, humorous outtakes and a Jennifer Holliday music video.
Writer/director Rice previously told Playbill On-Line that "The Rising Place" is based on an unpublished short story by David Armstrong. "It's a 'Fried Green Tomatoes' type of movie," Rice explained, "[about] a friendship between two girls, a black girl and a white girl in the 1940's." Rice, who began his career as a Broadway usher and later was a personal assistant for director/choreographer Jeff Calhoun, says his next project is a film set in a Broadway lobby. His previous credits include "Chasing Rainbows," which received a starry New York reading with Marcia Lewis, Harry Groener, Davis Gaines and Ann Reinking.
A native of Houston, Texas, Jennifer Holliday made her professional New York theatre debut in 1980 in the revival of Your Arms Too Short to Box With God. That role led to her Tony-winning performance in Dreamgirls, and her rendition of that show's "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" earned the singer-actress her first Grammy Award. She has also appeared on Broadway in the revivals of Grease! and Chicago, and her television credits include "Ellen," "Touched By an Angel" and a recurring role on "Ally McBeal." Holliday earned another Grammy Award for her recording of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday."
Amazon.com is currently accepting pre-orders for the DVD/video of "The Rising Place."