Producers Pick Up Other Desert Cities for Film Treatment

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22 Nov 2011

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who produced the screen adaptation of Sweeney Todd and the musical Catch Me If You Can, have obtained the rights for a film of Jon Robin Baitz's acclaimed Broadway debut drama, Other Desert Cities, according to Deadline.com.

Baitz will adapt his script for film and will co-produce. A director, cast and studio have not been announced. The Broadway production is directed by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart, Assassins, Wicked).

The drama about a Republican family with strong ties to Reagan-era politics who get a devastating Christmas gift in the form of their daughter's new book premiered at Lincoln Center Theater's Off-Broadway house, the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, last winter.

A sold-out run prompted Lincoln Center Theater to transfer Other Desert Cities to Broadway's Booth Theatre Oct. 12 with central players from the Off-Broadway cast intact. It opened Nov. 3 and recently extended from a limited engagement to an open-ended run. Tickets are currently on sale through March 25, 2012.

The cast features Tony Award winner Stockard Channing (Six Degrees of Separation, House of Blue Leaves) as tough-as-nails matriarch Polly Wyeth, Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (Indians, "Hemingway") as her husband Lyman Wyeth, Tony nominee Judith Light (Lombardi, "Ugly Betty") as Polly's alcoholic sister Silda Grauman, Tony nominee Thomas Sadoski (Reasons to Be Pretty, "The Newsroom") as Trip Wyeth and Rachel Griffiths ("Brothers & Sisters") in her Broadway debut as Brooke Wyeth.

In Other Desert Cities, according to LCT, "Brooke Wyeth (Griffiths), a once promising novelist, returns home after a six year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her parents, former members of the Reagan inner-circle (Channing and Keach), her brother (Sadoski) and her aunt (Light). When Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family’s history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil and the Wyeths are both bound together and torn apart as they struggle to come to terms with their past."



The Broadway production features Lincoln Center Theater's original design team: John Lee Beatty (sets), David Zinn (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lighting), Jill BC DuBoff (sound) and Justin Ellington (original music).

Baitz's plays include The Paris Letter, Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks, A Fair Country, The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, The End of the Day and Three Hotels. He has also written the screenplays for "The Substance of Fire" and "People I Know" as well as for TV's "Brothers & Sisters" (which he created), "The West Wing" and "Alias."

For tickets, priced $56.50-$126.50, visit Telecharge. A limited number of tickets priced $31.50 will be available at every performance through LincTix, LCT's new program for 21 to 35 year olds. For information and to enroll, visit LincTix.org.

View highlights from the show: