Newman Our Town Picked Up By PBS for November 2003

News   Newman Our Town Picked Up By PBS for November 2003 Just as the James Naughton-Paul Newman staging of Our Town has two lives on stage—one at the Westport Country Playhouse and then later on Broadway—the film of the Thornton Wilder play will have two lives on television: the first at Showtime, the cable network, and the second on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre."
Paul Newman as the Stage Manager in Our Town
Paul Newman as the Stage Manager in Our Town

Our Town had already been announced for Showtime this summer. Naughton told Playbill On-Line Feb. 10 that the film would also be shown on "Masterpiece Theatre" in November. The production was shot during the week after it closed its nine-week limited run on Jan. 26 at the Booth Theatre. Filming took place on the stage. No audience was present. Naughton said the film was shot for the camera and will not be simply a recorded stage performance.

The play marked Paul Newman's return to the Broadway stage after a 38-year break, during which time he solidified his status a Hollywood legend in such films as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "Absence of Malice," "The Color of Money" and more.

The Broadway cast largely mirrored that of the Westport Country Playhouse, where the production originated last summer. Newman's wife, actress Joanne Woodward, is artistic director of the historic WCP, which is the sole producer of the limited Broadway run. Among the residents of the fictional town of Grover's Corners are Jeffrey DeMunn and Jane Curtin as Mr. and Mrs. Webb, Frank Converse and Jayne Atkinson as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, Stephen Spinella as Simon Stimpson, Maggie Lacey as Emily Gibbs, Ben Fox as George Gibbs, Mia Dillon as Mrs. Soames, Jake Robards as Howie Newsome, and John Braden as Professor Willard.

Paul Newman and the cast of <i>Our Town</i> during their final curtain call
Paul Newman and the cast of Our Town during their final curtain call (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)