"It's good to be the king!" says Nathan Lane in The Producers; and apparently it's good to know the Prince as well—Harold that is. At a time when theatres are announcing their upcoming 2001-2002 season, Chicago's Goodman Theatre is already boasting their 2002-2003 season opener, Hollywood Arms a new play by Carrie Hamilton and Carol Burnett to be directed by Harold Prince.
The play, based on Burnett's best-selling memoir "One More Time," chronicles the life of a woman named Helen in a pre- and post-World War II Hollywood. The piece contains a cavalcade of characters including a pill-popping Christian Scientist grandmother who cares for the heroine when her parents divorce, a wide-eyed and distant mother who longs to be a celebrity interviewer and a recovering drunk father who wants to be the daddy he never was.
Writer-director Hamilton, daughter of Burnett, started the ball rolling on the project. She was skeptical to take on the adaptation alone, as she says in a release from the Goodman, "having only written screenplays, I didn’t think I’d be up to the task." So when mom Burnett suggested to co write the play with her, she was "thrilled."
When Burnett sent a rough draft to "a close friend" for a personal suggestion on someone to helm the work, the friend volunteered himself. When the friend is 20-time Tony-winner Harold Prince, the mother daughter team could not pass up the opportunity. Prince who stated that he loves "working in the new Goodman," went to his friend, Goodman artistic director Robert Falls, and the final piece of the puzzle was set.
The world premiere of Hollywood Arms is set to run in September of 2002 tentatively for a six-week run according to a Goodman press spokesperson. Though no casting has been set as of yet, the Goodman mentioned Burnett is not a likely candidate. Tickets for Hollywood Arms will be available for subscribers only in May of 2002. For more information on the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn Street in Chicago, IL, call (312) 443-3800 or visit them on the web at www.goodman theatre.org.