As reported by Theatrical Index (July 6), theatre advertising maven Nick Nappi is crossing to the other side of the footlights -- and he's got a big star to help him do it. Nappi has a commitment from George C. Scott to star in his drama, Two Were Called, which is targeting Broadway in October of this year.
Nappi told Playbill On-Line (July 7) he linked up with director Tony Giordano thanks to a recommendation from producer Edgar Lansbury. Giordano then sent the script to Scott, who apparently wants to star but has to do it in October (with a six-month commitment thereafter).
The play concerns the 1950s power struggle between Catholic Cardinal Francis Spellman (Scott) and Bishop Fulton Sheen. No theatre has yet been chosen for the project.
"We're waiting to get the rest of the cast together," Nappi said. "We had a reading at the Kaufman Theatre earlier this year, but no big names. Now we're talking to Maxwell Caulfield, who's very interested, and Keith Carradine. We sent a script to Irene Worth, who said she was sorely tempted, but she won't do eight performances a week anymore."
Robert Straus is acting producer on the project, which is capitalized at $1.5 million. Discussions are underway with Eugene Lee for the set design. Other plays by Nappi include Espresso Rossini, staged in Italy, and Room For Terror, which had a reading at PA's Bristol Riverside Theatre. A partner in the advertising firm of Nappi/Eliran/Murphy, Nappi is used to dealing with live entertainment, including the Roundabout Theatre, NY City Opera and the NY Philharmonic.
The last time Scott was onstage was in a National Actors Theatre mounting of Inherit The Wind. Ill health and personal troubles forced Scott to miss several performances and ultimately leave the production, but he has since worked on various film and television projects.
-- By David Lefkowitz