THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -- Sept. 1998
ROCKIN' ROBBINS: Actor-turned-director Tim Robbins, who steered wife Susan Sarandon to an Academy Award nomination for Dead Man Walking, is currently filming some controversial theatre history -- namely, the U.S. government's attempt to muzzle the premiere of Marc Blitzstein's left-wing "labor opera," The Cradle Will Rock, as helmed by a 22-year-old hothead named Orson Welles in June of 1937. Despite Robbins's round-faced resemblance to Welles, he assigned that role to Angus MacFadyen; Blitzstein will be played by Hank Azaria, Nelson Rockefeller by John Cusack and John Houseman by Cary Elwes. A chunk of today's theatre community has been drafted into playing the theatre community six decades back: Cherry Jones, Henry Stram, Vicki Carr, Ruben Blades, Sarandon, John Turturro, Vanessa Redgrave, Joan Cusack and Emily Watson. . . . "Hey, Cut Out the Parading Around Stark Naked!" and 11 other rowdy romps comprise A Dozen French Farces: Medieval to Modern, edited by Albert Bermel and published by Limelight Editions. Best-known titles: The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere and The Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais. . . . Pamela's First Musical, a children's book by Wendy Wasserstein, is being turned into a musical for ABC-TV by the composer and lyricist of City of Angels, Cy Coleman and David Zippel. Dealing with a kid's introduction to theatre, the score has a song called "Pamela, Welcome to Sardi's." TALLYING THE TALLEYS: In the third volume of Lanford Wilson plays just published by Smith and Kraus, you'll find The Talley Trilogy (Talley's Folly, Fifth of July and Talley and Son). Other authors represented in S&K's new collected-plays listing: Lynne Alvarez (Volume 1), John Guare (Volume II), Horton Foote (Volume III) and Israel Horovitz (Volume IV). . . . Michael Cacoyannis, who adapted and directed the screen Zorba the Greek, is in the process of turning Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard into Varya. His stars are Katrin Cartlidge, Alan Bates and Charlotte Rampling. . . . Another stage classic bound for the big screen: August Strindberg's Miss Julie. The English Patient's Juliette Binoche, will have the title role. Mike Figgis, who guided Nicolas Cage to Oscar gold for Leaving Las Vegas, will stage the film -- and will try to talk Cage into starring, too.
-- By Harry Haun