Brad Anderson is making David Auburn's Pulitzer prize-winning play, Proof, into a movie. But don't expect members of the Tony-winning cast to repeat their roles in the film.
Anderson — whose previous films include Session 9, Next Stop Wonderland and Happy Accidents — has decided not to include any of the award-winners from the original cast.
This means that Mary-Louise Parker and Larry Bryggman are out, and newer, bigger names will be added.
Anderson, who was a juror at Sundance this year, told me: "We want to make this our own project."
Of course, it's pretty common for Broadway casts to be chucked when shows are translated into film. Most famously, Julie Andrews was the first Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, but Audrey Hepburn — who couldn't even sing — went on to star in the movie. Later, of course, Andrews became a film star anyway.
Other examples — and there are many — include Barbra Streisand playing Carol Channing's role in Hello, Dolly! and the nearly unknown Topol as Tevye, the part made famous by Zero Mostel and Herschel Bernardi in Fiddler on the Roof.
The only difference this time is that Parker came to Broadway with a load of movie roles and good reviews under her arm, including Fried Green Tomatoes.
For the record, though, this is the second time this has happened to her. She originated the female lead in the off-Broadway play Prelude to a Kiss. Meg Ryan took the movie version, which may be one of the more dreadful entries on her resume.
All this interest in Proof, by the way, probably stems from A Beautiful Mind turning into a hit. Like Mind, Proof is about higher mathematics — this time about its impact on a young woman's life. Soon we're going to see Armani or Prada pocket protectors!
George Harrison's last recorded album track is out. Did you know that? Warner/Rhino has released it in secret, so as not to get everyone excited.
"Horse to the Water" is the second track on an album called Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm and Blues, which was released earlier this month. I stumbled upon it in a back area of Tower Records yesterday.
The big news about Horse to the Water is that it's not, as previously stated in countless news reports, licensed to something called R.I.P. Music. The publisher is listed as Umlaut Corporation.
Maybe the English version, which came out in December, had this R.I.P. thing. But it's not here. So much for George's witty prediction of his death. I don't know why news wires keep picking up rumors and running them as true stories, e.g. everything to do with Mariah Carey.
Jools Holland is a British phenomenon, kind of their Paul Shaffer. He's gotten together a bunch of terrific musicians and made what is mostly a very enjoyable, fun compilation of blues recordings with the likes of Van Morrison, Paul Weller, Eric Clapton and Holland's former Squeeze bandmate Chris Difford all turning in excellent performances.
As for George's song, it's very good and would be released as a single if this were not a secret project. This is typical Warner Bros.: They'd rather give us the recipe for anthrax than make sure a record or movie was well publicized.
Too bad, because with Harrison's contribution, Warners has a good news hook. The lyrics, by the way, have nothing to do with Harrison's illness, another much-published falsehood.
Actually, my favorite lyric on the album is from Suggs, once the leader of the great 1980s ska group Madness. On "Oranges and Lemons Again" he sings: "Lurking in the doorways of every town/Rough kids rally with their sorrows drowned/Burnt-out faces and their ashtray eyes/Up goes the cry through the perforated sky."
Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues also has refreshing turns by Sting, Stevie Winwood, the Stereophonics and the return of the much-missed Mica Paris, formerly of Hollywood Beyond.
Dominick Dunne almost went after his daughter Dominique's murderer himself rather than wait for the law. That's what the Vanity Fair writer told me on Thursday night after he co-hosted a screening for Todd Field's In the Bedroom, in which a couple must deal with their son's murder.
"We considered doing the same thing," he said, then added, "But of course we didn't do it."
Dunne got high marks from co-host Joe Armstrong for arranging for the screening considering the sensitive situation, but Dunne said the movie was "humane. And exactly right. All the frustration of what those people go through with the district attorney and the process, we went through, it's the same thing. And the acting is marvelous."
Their guests included writers Hannah Pakula — widow of famed director Alan Pakula — and Sharon Hoge, decorator Duane Hampton with her two daughters and designer Caroline Roehm, whose stepson Harrison Kravis, died in a car crash at age 18.
Roehm said she identified with the movie. "I know what it's like to lose a child and it's terrible," she said praising the film.
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