Filmmaker Todd Haynes to Discuss "Far From Heaven" at Williamstown

Academy Award-nominated director-screenwriter Todd Haynes will take part in a pre-show discussion of the new musical Far From Heaven, based on his Oscar-nominated 2002 film, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival July 24.

Haynes directed and wrote the screenplay for "Far From Heaven" and received a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for his work. A cinematic tribute to the films of Douglas Sirk, "Far From Heaven" is now taking on new life as a stage musical by Tony Award-nominated Grey Gardens and Finding Neverland songwriters Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics) with a book by Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg ( Take Me Out). 

Haynes will discuss the film as part of a free 6:45 PM discussion on the lawn of the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance. Far From Heaven the musical begins at 7:30 PM.

Tony nominee Michael Greif ( Grey GardensRent, Next to Normal) directs the production that will run through July 29. Following the Williamstown preview production, Far From Heaven will be presented Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in spring 2013. Kelli O'Hara will also star in Manhattan. She is currently taking a break from Broadway's Nice Work If You Can Get It to work on Far From Heaven. She returns to Nice Work on July 31.

O'Hara ( The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, Nice Work...) stars as Cathy Whitaker, who has her world shattered through a series of revelations and emotional encounters. Steven Pasquale ( Reasons to Be Pretty, "Rescue Me") portrays her husband, Frank.

Here's how the musical is billed: "Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel — with incendiary consequences. With a lush score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, intolerance and a woman grappling with her identity in a society on the verge of great upheaval." Visit WilliamstownTheatreFestival.