Showtime to Film Bway Our Town for TV

News   Showtime to Film Bway Our Town for TV Showtime, the cable network, will commit the current Broadway revival of Thornton Wilder's American classic, Our Town, to film. The resultant movie is scheduled to air sometime this coming summer.

Our Town, starring Paul Newman, will end its nine-week limited run on Jan. 26 at the Booth Theatre.

James Naughton will direct the television movie. Filming is to take place during the week after the show closes, according to a show spokesman. No audience will be present and the performers will act on the Booth stage just as they do during regular shows.

The play marked Paul Newman's return to the Broadway stage after a 38-year break, during which time he solidified his status a Hollywood legend in such films as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "Absence of Malice," "The Color of Money" and more.

The Broadway cast largely mirrors that of the Westport Country Playhouse, where the production originated last summer. Newman's wife, actress Joanne Woodward, is artistic director of the historic WCP, which is the sole producer of the limited Broadway run. Among the residents of the fictional town of Grover's Corners are Jeffrey DeMunn and Jane Curtin as Mr. and Mrs. Webb, Frank Converse and Jayne Atkinson as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, Stephen Spinella as Simon Stimpson, Maggie Lacey as Emily Gibbs, Ben Fox as George Gibbs, Mia Dillon as Mrs. Soames, Jake Robards as Howie Newsome, and John Braden as Professor Willard. James Naughton—a Westport favorite, Tony winning actor (Chicago, City of Angels) and experienced Broadway director (The Price)—pilots the effort.

Paul Newman's return to Broadway prompted the box office for Our Town to boom, with the advance sale at more than $3 million (meaning WCP has recouped its $1 million capitalization).