Uhry Will Adapt Brenner's Memoir, "Apples & Oranges," for MTC; Meadow to Direct

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09 Jun 2009

Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
Manhattan Theatre Club has commissioned Tony, Oscar and Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry to adapt Marie Brenner's best-selling memoir about a strained sibling relationship, "Apples & Oranges," for the stage.

"I read Marie Brenner's memoir 'Apples & Oranges' a year ago when I was on sabbatical and loved it," MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow said in a statement. "I wasn't alone. The book had a fantastic critical reception. I thought the characters and story would be terrific to see on stage. I asked Marie if she would consider letting me have a play created based on her book to be produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. She said yes and I was thrilled.

"Alfred Uhry was, I thought, the perfect voice to make a theatre piece from the book. So I was delighted when he responded so positively. It's heaven when things come together so smoothly and seemingly inevitably. Marie and Alfred are both great artists and I am looking forward to directing Alfred's play."

"Apple & Oranges" is Brenner's acclaimed memoir about her "strained, heartwarming and funny relationship with her brother," according to MTC. "A medical crisis brought Marie, a classic New York liberal who was making her living as an investigative journalist for Vanity Fair, and Carl, a conservative apple grower living in Washington State, together after many years apart. While Marie abandoned her life to help her dying brother, Carl fought her every step of the way. This touching memoir tells the story of their attempts to heal and understand one another."

Alfred Uhry wrote the book for the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of LoveMusik, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. He received all three of the most prestigious American awards for dramatic writing: the Academy Award ("Driving Miss Daisy"), the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (Driving Miss Daisy) and the Tony Award (The Last Night of Ballyhoo). (John Patrick Shanley, another MTC-affiliated writer, matched this feat.) Uhry also penned the libretto to the musical Parade, which earned him a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. He also wrote the screenplays for several films, including "Mystic Pizza" and "Rich in Love."



"I was delighted when Lynne Meadow approached me about adapting Marie Brenner's fascinating book for the MTC stage," Uhry said in a statement. "The subject of brother/sister relationships is rich and complex territory, and Ms. Brenner tells her very personal story with honesty and humor and compassion. It has the makings of wonderful theatre. I only hope I can do it justice."

No production timetable for the project has been announced. MTC operates theatres Off-Broadway (City Center Stage I and Stage II) and on (Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman).