HBO Developing Screen Adaptation of Broadway's Stick Fly

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19 Dec 2012

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

Stick Fly, Lydia R. Diamond's comedic drama about an affluent African American family who share a shattering weekend on Martha's Vineyard, is being developed for HBO, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Alicia Keys and Nelle Nugent, who also produced the brief Broadway run of the play during the 2011-12 season, are behind the screen version. Diamond is streamlining the 135-minute play into an hour-long drama.

Casting and a timeline for the HBO premiere have not been announced.

Stick Fly opened to mixed noticed on Broadway after several major regional engagements, including runs at the Huntington Theatre Company and Arena Stage.

Stick Fly played 24 previews and 92 regular performances at Broadway's Cort Theatre. It was directed by Kenny Leon (Fences, The Mountaintop).



The cast featured Tony nominee Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean, Jelly's Last Jam, Lackawanna Blues) as family patriarch, neurosurgeon Joe LeVay, alongside Emmy nominee Dulé Hill ("Psych," "The West Wing") and Mekhi Phifer ("ER," "8 Mile") as his sons Kent and Flip, respectively. Tracie Thoms (Rent, The Exonerated "The Devil Wears Prada") played Taylor, Kent's fiancée, and Condola Rashad (Ruined, "The Good Wife") was cast as the maid, Cheryl. Rosie Benton, who was part of the original Huntington-Arena Stage productions, returned to play Flip's girlfriend, Kimber.

According to Broadway producers, "It was supposed to be a relaxing weekend at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard… until the baggage got unpacked. Set at the elegant summer home of the well-to-do LeVay family, Stick Fly begins when two adult sons bring their significant others (one a fiancée, the other a new girlfriend) home to meet their parents for the first time. Soon, secrets are revealed, civilities are dropped and identities are explored in a harsh new light. Race and rivalry, class and family, all come together for an explosive comedy of manners about today’s complex world."

Stick Fly premiered at Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago in 2006. In 2008 it was performed at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Stick Fly is the recipient of the 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play.