Director-choreographer Rob Marshall has been hired to direct an upcoming television adaptation of the Jerry Herman musical Mame, reported Variety. Barbra Streisand and Cis Corman's production company, Barwood Films, and Storyline Entertainment are co-producing the telepic, and speculation is high that Streisand herself will play the title role.
Marshall earned praise last fall for his direction of the small-screen translation of the musical Annie. The show scored high in the ratings and was widely considered an improvement over the feature film version of the show.
Peter Tolan has be signed to write the teleplay. He will base his work on the original libretto by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee, Variety said. The project is expected to be broadcast during the 2000-2001 season on ABC's "Wonderful World of Disney."
Streisand, who starred in TV specials but never a TV musical, sang the work of Jerry Herman as the star of the film, "Hello, Dolly!" The movie version of "Mame" starring Lucille Ball was directed by Gene Saks through filtered lenses that made Ball seem ageless and somewhat hazy. Not in good voice, the comic actress disappointed fans of the score who hoped to hear "If He Walked Into My Life," "Bosom Buddies," "Open a New Window" and "It's Today" belted with more confidence.
Robert Preston starred as Beau, Bruce Davison was the adult Patrick and Beatrice Arthur recreated her Tony Award-winning stage role as Vera Charles. It was Ball's last theatrical film.
The previous Barwood-Storyline collaboration was "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story" in 1995 starring Glenn Close.
<--by Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones