Aaron Sorkin's Farnsworth Invention to Open on Broadway in November

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
21 Jun 2007

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
Photo by NBC.com

"The West Wing" creator/writer Aaron Sorkin will make his return to Broadway this fall with his first play in almost two decades, The Farnsworth Invention, Playbill.com has learned.

A casting notice lists Dodger Theatricals as the producer of the forthcoming production, to be directed by Des McAnuff. The posting lists Oct. 15 as the tentative date of the first preview performance with a Nov. 18 opening.

The Farnsworth Invention concerns the battle for the patent for the invention of the television set. The race pitted a young genius, Philo T. Farnsworth, who came up with the idea as a high school student, against David Sarnoff, the head of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).

The work was seen previously in a La Jolla Playhouse workshop production Feb. 20-March 25. Composer Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) provided original music.

Jimmi Simpson (Tartuffe at La Jolla, "Herbie Fully Loaded") played Farnsworth and Stephen Lang (Defiance, A Few Good Men) played Sarnoff in the La Jolla production.



Some of the roles have been "offered to members of the La Jolla cast," according to the casting call, "but no roles in the Broadway company have been cast as of the posting of this notice."

Marking his first stage work since A Few Good Men in 1989, Sorkin has been at work on television series like "Sports Night," "The West Wing" and the recent "Studio 60 on Sunset Strip." The screenwriter of "Malice" and "The American President" returns to the silver screen with his screenplay for the forthcoming film "Charlie Wilson's War" in which Mike Nichols directs Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

New York native Sorkin previously penned the plays Removing All Doubt, Hidden in This Picture and Making Movies. A Few Good Men opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre Nov. 15, 1989, starring Tom Hulce under the direction of Don Scardino. Sorkin adapted his play for the Rob Reiner-directed screen version in 1992 starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.

The California-to-Broadway move would not be anything new for La Jolla Playhouse, which has seen its outgoing artistic director Des McAnuff shepherd Tommy, Dracula, Jersey Boys and 700 Sundays to New York.