Financing and details are still being ironed out, but producer Alexander Cohen is hoping to bring Sweet Deliverance, by Eric Houston, to Broadway. The show was initially targeting late fall 1999, the show remains one of many projects eyeing scarce theatres for late winter-early spring 2000. As of Jan. 6, there was "nothing new" to report on the show's status, according to a production spokesperson at the David Rothenberg office.
Months earlier, Rothenberg told Playbill On-Line Fran Drescher, of "The Nanny" fame, had officially signed on to the project. No further casting has been announced. Producer Cohen optioned the comedy in early spring 1999. A reading of the play, with Drescher, was held in New York July 12.
Cohen said Drescher would play a hospital intern who transforms herself into "an amalgam of Dr. Kevorkian and Martha Stewart." He also said David Warren, who staged the Roundabout's Hurrah At Last, is in discussions to direct.
Sweet Deliverance was workshopped in 1994 as part of Barter Theatre of Abingdon, VA's Early Stages program. Niko Associates/Carl Pasbjerg serve as General Managers on the project.
Producer Cohen, who will also mount an anniversary production of Noel Coward's Waiting In The Wings on Broadway this season, appeared in his own Off-Broadway show this past winter. In Star Billing, Cohen reflected on his theatrical successes (including Richard Burton's Hamlet, John Gielgud's School for Scandal, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming), his inevitable flops, as well as some of the infamous feuds he's had over the years, with names like Jerry Lewis, Marlene Dietrich, and the Shuberts. The 78-year old Cohen began his producing career 57 years ago, when his Angel Street opened in 1941. Cohen also produced the televised Tony Awards for 20 years, as well as three "Night of 100 Stars" specials. He has received countless awards including a Tony, Emmy, Oscar, Theatre World's Showman of the Year, The Shubert Foundation Award and numerous others.
-- By David Lefkowitz