Finishing the Picture was given a private reading last summer. The script is reportedly based on the creation of Monroe's last movie, 1961's "The Misfits," which was directed by John Huston, and for which Miller penned the screenplay. During filming, Monroe was struggling with depression, unwieldy moods and substance abuse. David Richenthal, who produced the recent Tony-honored Death of a Salesman, directed by Falls, is said to have attended the reading.
The Goodman describes the play thusly: “A distinguished director is about to lose his picture due to the unstable behavior of a famously fragile movie star. She’s recognized all over the world, loved by millions, but unable to believe in herself. The studio owners are threatening to pull the plug, and a temperamental acting teacher is flown in to coax the actress out of bed and onto the set. “
The New York Post reported in July that, in the 2003 reading, Harris Yulin played a Huston inspired movie director, Sam Robards played the screenwriter, and Brian Dennehy "read the part of a trucking company executive, who, through a corporate merger, has acquired the studio making the movie." Frank Langella and Tovah Feldshuh played acting teachers based on the Strasbergs, who influenced Monroe’s life and work. Dennehy starred as Willy Loman in the acclaimed Falls version of Salesman, Yulin was seen in the most recent Broadway revival of Miller’s The Price and Robards received the best reviews of his career for his turn as a mechanic in Miller’s The Man Who Had All the Luck.
Miller’s previous play, After the Fall, was also inspired by his experiences with Monroe.
Also scheduled for the 2003-2004 Goodman season are: *The Chicago premiere of Tracey Scott Wilson’s newspaper drama, The Story, directed by Chuck Smith, March 5 - April 10, 2005, at the Albert Theatre
*A new version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House adapted by Goodman favorite Rebecca Gilman and directed by Robert Falls, June 18 – July 24, 2005, at the Albert Theatre
*Silk, a new play adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses) from the novel by Alessandro Baricco, April 9 – May 15, 2005, at the Owen Theatre
New subscriptions for the Goodman Theatre’s 2004-2005 season, priced from $80 to $250, go on sale March 3. Subscriptions may be purchased at the Goodman Theatre Box Office, 170 N. Dearborn Street, or charged by calling (312) 443-3800. For further subscription information, call (312) 443-3800.