You'd still have a hard time convincing old-time theatre mavens that Hollywood isn't the mortal enemy of Broadway, but one Off-Broadway company has struck a film deal that could be good for both stage and screen.
Variety reports (Apr. 22) and Atlantic Theatre Company general manager Bardo Ramirez confirms, that the Atlantic -- on a hot streak with The Beauty Queen of Leenane -- has inked a "first-look deal" with the film company Tribeca Productions.
Quincy Long, a playwright nurtured by the Atlantic, will be the first to benefit from the alliance; his 1994 comedy Shaker Heights will be made into a film, directed by Atlantic artistic director (and actor) Neil Pepe, who staged the show at the Atlantic. Long's other plays produced at the Atlantic include The Virgin Molly and The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite.
William H. Macy and David Mamet co-founded the Atlantic in 1985; Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal founded Tribeca Productions in 1988. Theatre-based movies by the company include Marvin's Room and A Bronx Tale.
Asked about the deal, director Pepe told Variety, "It is a natural evolution because so many of our members have already been working in film." Other recent Atlantic stagings have included Mamet's Edmond, Jez Butterworth's Mojo and Edwin Sanchez's Clean. Next up at the Atlantic Theatre in their home space will be a revival of Kaufman & Hart's Once In a Lifetime,, directed by David Pittu. The show starts previews May 16 and opens May 28. As of Apr. 22, no shows have been chosen for next season at the Atlantic.
-- By David Lefkowitz