Coming to Turner Network Television later this year is a TV adaptation of Bill Cain's drama, Stand-Up Tragedy, which wowed crowds at CA's Mark Taper Forum at its world premiere, at Hartford Stage, and then went on to play 13 performances at Broadway's Criterion Center in Oct. 1990. (The Criterion Center was soon thereafter taken over by the Roundabout Theatre and turned into its Broadway mainstage.) An angry, visceral drama about the state of American public education, Cain's play shows a teacher vainly trying to resuce a gifted student from poverty and prejudice. On Broadway, the show starred John C. Cooke, Charles Cioffi and Marcus Chong. According to Variety, the TNT movie will star Mickey Rourke as the hard-boiled priest who plays mentor to the idealistic teacher, played by Dan Futterman.
The theme of clergy helping youth is obviously an important one for Cain, who is one of the creators of TV's weekly series, "Nothing Sacred," about a Catholic priest trying to be of help in a secular world.
-- By David Lefkowitz