Although Jeffrey Sweet's Chicago hit, Flyovers, wasn’t able to find an available Off-Broadway theatre this spring, producer Suzanne Golden fully intends to bring the show in this fall. She’s currently capitalizing the $500,000 project and says that Mercedes Ruehl (The Rose Tattoo) has expressed interest in the lead role. There is also investor interest, she says, in a spring 2001 mounting in London.
Sweet's drama, which won a Chicago Jeff Award last season as Best New Work, tells of a childhood bully who, a quarter century later, continues to oppress his now-successful former victim. In Chi-town, the play opened May 21, 1998, at Victory Gardens Theatre and had an extended run there to Aug. 2. William Peterson starred in the play, with Gary Cole coming in later in the run. Peterson has expressed interest in reprising his role, subject to his availability (he’s co-producing and writing a CBS-TV pilot).
Dennis Zacek, director of the Chicago run (and artistic director of Victory Gardens), will stage the play in New York. Capitalization for an Off Broadway mounting of Flyovers is estimated at $500,000, with Ralph Roseman serving as General Manager.
Author Sweet recently enjoyed another Victory Gardens hit, Bluff, starring Jon Cryer and Sarah Trigger. A new play, The Action Against Sol Schulmann, is being workshopped at VG and eyed for a possible 2001 mounting. Mike Nussbaum, Tandy Cronyn and David Pasquesi took part in a June reading of Action, directed by Zacek. Author Sweet also penned The Value of Names and American Enterprise, and he co-edited the "Best Plays" Theatre Yearbook for more than a decade.
-- By David Lefkowitz