Playwright Tom Donaghy, who arrived via Northeast Local at Lincoln Center in 1996 and spent Minutes From the Blue Route at the Atlantic in 1997, is now residing at Playwrights Horizons. On Mar. 10, director David Warren put into rehearsal Donaghy's new comedy, From Above.
A product of Playwrights Horizons' Amblin/Dreamworks commission program, From Above began previews Apr. 3 and opened to mixed to-negative reviews Apr. 26. The show now finishes its scheduled run May 10, after 22 previews and 22 regular performances at Playwrights Horizons' Anne G. Wilder Theatre, 416 West 42nd St.
Patricia Kalember, from TV's "Sisters" and "thirtysomething," stars as a young widow whose year of mourning ends when a mysterious stranger shows up on her doorstep, claiming to be her late husband. Neal Huff (Troilus in New York's most recent Troilus and Cressida) co-stars as the stranger; comprising the rest of the cast are Mary Testa, Meg Gibson, Stephen Mendillo and Stephen Stout.
While Donaghy toils over this new play, a composer is applying music to a movie that will mark Donaghy's double-debut as screenwriter and film director. "Jean Doumanian, who produces Woody Allen's movies, is now producing a series of low-budget films, and mine is the second in this series," he said. "It's a gay coming-of-age story, but it's not political. It's very funny and romantic and frank and very sexy. The story is about a kid who falls in love with a student teacher who comes to direct a musical theatre production at his high school. It takes place in the early '80s, and it's about that time in your life when all this information is coming at you- sex and love and friendship -- and you're separating from your parents. It's about a lot of things, but a love story is at the center of it. I think it's the funniest thing I've written, not wistful or sad as some of the things I've done."
He calls this opus The Story of a Bad Boy, and he shot it last summer for $600,000. The central character is played by an unknown right out of NYU, Jeffrey Hollingsworth, and the object of his affection is essayed by Christian Camargo, who landed his first Broadway role a month out of Juilliard (in Skylight, opposite [now Sir] Michael Gambon and Lia Williams). Hollingsworth's parents are played by Stephen Lang and Julia Kavner. A summer release is anticipated.