Playbill.com has learned that producers are in discussions with actresses who are interested in taking the role of quirky Midwestern Sally Talley, who is wooed by a Jewish admirer, Matt Friedman, in her family's boathouse one night in the 1940s.
Richard Schiff (of TV's "The West Wing") will play Matt. The light drama won the Pulitzer Prize.
Wright ("The Princess Bride," "Forrest Gump") apparently has a movie commitment that conflicts with the Broadway job. The spring 2011 staging — the play's second Broadway production, after a life that began Off-Broadway in 1979 — is to be directed by original director Marshall W. Mason, a longtime collaborator of Wilson's. No dates or theatre have been announced.
The play, according to the producers, "is a timeless two-character comedy that unfolds on the Fourth of July near the end of World War II in the romantic setting of a moonlit boathouse in rural Missouri. Sally Talley is the daughter of a prominent local family who is being courted by an unlikely suitor, Matt Friedman, a Jewish accountant from St. Louis." Both rebel "against the conventions of the turbulent times, and finding each other may be their only chance for happiness."
The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty, costume design by Obie Award winner Jennifer von Mayrhauser and lighting design by Phil Monat. (Beatty and von Mayrhauser designed the original production.) Producers are Monat, sound designer T. Richard Fitzgerald and Randall L. Wreghitt (Little Women).
Talley's Folly made its Broadway debut Feb. 14, 1980, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre following a 1979 Off-Broadway production under the auspices of The Circle Repertory Company. Mason directed a cast that included Judd Hirsch and Trish Hawkins. The play won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1979-80 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.
Talley's Folly is part of a trilogy of related Wilson plays including Fifth of July (in which an aging Sally is also a character) and Talley and Son.