Broadway Performers Star in Selected 2004 Sundance Festival Films
By Ernio Hernandez
Broadway performers Matthew Broderick, Mary-Louise Parker, Audra McDonald, Boyd Gaines, Daniel Sunjata, Jean Smart, Kevin Bacon and Mos Def are among the casts of movies selected for the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, set for Jan. 15-25 in Park City, Utah.
Tony Award winners Mary-Louise Parker (Proof) and Audra McDonald (Ragtime) — who can currently be seen in the HBO Films adaptation of Tony Kushner's Angels in America and Lincoln Center Theater's Henry IV, respectively — star in the world premiere film "The Best Thief in the World." Jacob Kornbluth penned and directed the work about an 11-year-old kid who breaks into apartments to escape his family and toy with people's minds.
Parker also co-stars with Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin and Patrick Fugit in the coming-of-age story "Saved" by Brian Dannelly and Michael Urban. The world premiere centers on a girl whose pregnancy makes her an outcast in her small, Baptist high school.
Playwright-actor Wallace Shawn, whose Aunt Dan and Lemon will be revived Off-Broadway in December, adapts his play Marie and Bruce for the big screen with the help of director/co-screenwriter Tom Cairns. Matthew Broderick (The Producers), Julianne Moore (Serious Money) and Julie Hagerty (Morning's at Seven) join original Off-Broadway stars Bob Balaban (The Exonerated) and Griffin Dunne (Search and Destroy) in the film.
Eric Weber directs his screenplay "Second Best" about a reunion of five nearing-50-years-old male friends. Stage vets Joe Pantoliano (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune), Jennifer Tilly (The Women), Boyd Gaines (Contact), Bronson Pinchot (Putting It Together), Peter Gerety (Never Gonna Dance), Matthew Arkin (The Sunshine Boys), Barbara Barrie (Company) and Polly Draper (Closer) star in the film. Paulina Porizkova and Patricia Hearst also appear.
"Scrubs" star Zach Braff, who appeared in the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival staging of Twelfth Night, wrote, stars and directs in his film "Garden State." Natalie Portman (NYSF's The Seagull and The Diary of Anne Frank), Peter Sarsgaard (Burn This, "Shattered Glass"), Ian Holm (The Homecoming) and Jean Smart (The Man Who Came to Dinner) also star in the movie about a man who returns home to his estranged family for the funeral of his mother.
Husband and wife team Kevin Bacon (An Almost Holy Picture) and Kyra Sedgwick (Twelfth Night) star in "The Woodsman" — a world premiere work by Nicole Kassell and Stephen Fechter about a convicted child molester struggling to rebuild his life. Recent stage stars Benjamin Bratt (Intrigue With Faye), Mos Def (Topdog/Underdog) also star with David Alan Grier (...Forum).
Playwright Jose Rivera pens his first foray into film with "The Motorcycle Diaries" based on the journals of revolutionary Che Guevara. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal ("Y Tu Mamá También"), who played Guevara in the television miniseries "Fidel," takes on the role once more for the world premiere.
Other Broadway actors in announced films include Take Me Out star Daniel Sunjata appearing in "Brother to Brother," current The Caretaker star Kyle MacLachlan in "Touch of Pink," original Big River cast member John Goodman in "Home of Phobia" and The Beauty Queen of Leenane star Brian F. O'Byrne in "Easy."
For more information on scheduling and films, visit www.sundance.org.
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