As reported earlier, the season begins with Miller's Finishing the Picture. The script is reportedly based on the creation of Monroe's last movie, 1961's "The Misfits," which was directed by John Huston, and for which Miller penned the screenplay. During filming, Monroe was struggling with depression, unwieldy moods and substance abuse. David Richenthal, who produced the recent Tony-honored Death of a Salesman, directed by Falls, is said to have attended the reading.
The Goodman describes the play thusly: “A distinguished director is about to lose his picture due to the unstable behavior of a famously fragile movie star. She’s recognized all over the world, loved by millions, but unable to believe in herself. The studio owners are threatening to pull the plug, and a temperamental acting teacher is flown in to coax the actress out of bed and onto the set. “ Robert Falls directs in the Albert Ivan Theatre. The dates are Sept. 21-Oct. 31.
The New York Post reported in July that, in the 2003 reading, Harris Yulin played a Huston-inspired movie director, Sam Robards played the screenwriter, and Brian Dennehy "read the part of a trucking company executive, who, through a corporate merger, has acquired the studio making the movie." Frank Langella and Tovah Feldshuh played acting teachers based on the Strasbergs, who influenced Monroe’s life and work. Dennehy starred as Willy Loman in the acclaimed Falls version of Salesman, Yulin was seen in the most recent Broadway revival of Miller’s The Price and Robards received the best reviews of his career for his turn as a mechanic in Miller’s The Man Who Had All the Luck.
Miller’s previous play, After the Fall, now being given a revival on Broadway, was also inspired by his experiences with Monroe.
Next at the Albert will be Doug Wright's drama I Am My Own Wife. The play—about the complicated life of an East German transvestite who survived the Nazi and Communist regimes, and the playwright who is inspired and then conflicted by his story—will run Jan. 8-Feb. 13, 2005. Broadway star Jefferson Mays and director Moises Kaufman will repeat their work. The show won the Pulitzer and the Tony in 2004. Also scheduled for the 2003-2004 Goodman Albert season are:
*The Chicago premiere of Tracey Scott Wilson’s newspaper drama, The Story, directed by Chuck Smith, March 5-April 10, 2005.
*Silk, a new play adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses) from the novel by Alessandro Baricco, April 23-May 29, 2005. The work was previously announced for the Owen Theatre.
*Dollhouse, a new version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, adapted by Goodman favorite Rebecca Gilman and directed by Robert Falls, June 18-July 24, 2005
The smaller Owen Bruner space will see Mariela in the Desert by Karen Zacarias, and directed by Henry Godinez, Jan. 29-Feb. 27, 2005. The play is about "two artists who lived the high life in Mexico City, counting Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo among their friends. Now they live in a ruined artists’ colony in the desert as Mariela waits for Jose to die. They anticipate the arrival of their grown daughter, and live with the ghost of their young son. And the mystery of the Blue Barn colors their world."
Next and last in the Owen is Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky, with books and lyrics by David Cale and music by Jonathan Kreisberg and David Cale, running April 9-May 8, 2005. In this work, "Cale takes the role of Floyd, a middle-aged, washed-up singer/songwriter who retreats to the badlands of Montana in a battered Studebaker. There he meets Clea, an aspiring country singer and a most extraordinary love and life story begins." Kreisberg will lead an on-stage country and western band.
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