Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed recently.
Mark Rylance, Johnny Flynn & More Tapped for Graham Moore Film
Oscar and Tony winner Mark Rylance, Olivier Award nominee Johnny Flynn, The Politician‘s Zoey Deutch and Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien are all set to star in The Outfit, according to Deadline. The project is the directorial debut of Oscar-winning scribe Graham Moore. The film follows Leonard (Rylance), an English tailor who used to craft suits on London’s world-famous Savile Row. After a personal tragedy, he ends up operating a small tailor shop in Chicago, making gorgeous garments for the only people around who can afford them—a family of vicious gangsters. Moore will direct from his own script, which is co-written with actor-writer Johnathan McClain (Mad Men). The FilmNation and Focus Features crime drama is set to begin shooting this March in London.
Jeremy O. Harris & Aziza Barnes to Adapt The Vanishing Half for HBO
Slave Play‘s Tony-nominated scribe Jeremy O. Harris and BLKS creator Aziza Barnes are set to adapt Brit Bennett’s novel The Vanishing Half as a potential HBO series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writers will also serve as executive producers alongside co-creator Issa Rae and Oscars producer Stephanie Allain. The Vanishing Half, which became a bestseller last June, tells the story of identical twin sisters who run away from their small, southern Black community at age 16. A decade later, they are living completely separate lives yet their fates remain intertwined. More details will be announced later.
Bette Midler Says ‘So Long, Dearie’ to Performing on Stage
Bette Midler, who last wowed Broadway audiences in a Tony-winning turn in the (also Tony-winning) 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly!, has shared that she likely will not return to the stage. In an interview with Parade about her new children’s book The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable, she said, “My time on the stage is basically up. I’m 75. I don’t have the impulse to prove myself anymore. I feel like ‘I did that.’ And I’ve done a lot. I’ve earned my rest. Am I going to make an announcement? No. I’m just going to fade away.” In addition to Hello, Dolly!, Midler’s Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers and her special concert engagements Bette Midler, Bette Midler’s Clams on the Half Shell Revue and Bette! Divine Madness. At least fans can look forward to Midler in the Hocus Pocus sequel!
Stage & Screen Star Martha Stewart Dies at 98
Martha Stewart, who appeared on Broadway as Miss Adelaide in the original production of Guys and Dolls, has died at the age of 98. Her daughter Colleen Shelley confirmed the news on Twitter on February 18. Born on October 7, 1922 in Bardwell, Kentucky, the actress and singer was known for her screen turn opposite Joan Crawford in Daisy Kenyon and Humphrey Bogart in In a Lonely Place. She made her Broadway debut in the musical comedy Park Avenue in 1946. She was married to Joe E. Lewis, George O’Hanlon and David Shelley; Mitzi Gaynor portrayed her in the 1957 Joe E. Lewis biopic The Joker Is Wild, which starred Frank Sinatra.
Roundabout Announces 2021-2022 Directing Fellow Sivan Battat
The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced that Roundabout Directors Group member Sivan Battat will be the 2021-2022 Directing Fellow. Launched in 2017, the fellowship was created to foster long-term, meaningful relationships between the theater company and aspiring directors. Battat is the fifth in the program, following Whitney White (2017), Miranda Haymon (2018), Kathleen Capdesuñer (2019) and Cristina Angeles (2020). Battat will begin in 2021 once production has resumed. She will serve as an assistant director on multiple productions, starting with Trouble in Mind. Applications for the Leon Levy Foundation Roundabout Directors Group, a second program built to provide career assistance to emerging directors, are now open. Apply here by April 1.
Broadway Producer Gary Gunas Dies at 73
Theater producer Gary Gunas died on February 22 at his home in London, England at the age of 73. Born in Manchester, Connecticut on May 26, 1947, his career began off-Broadway in 1969 as an apprentice company manager for the musical Promenade. In the 1970s, he shifted to Broadway shows and tours in the office of Marvin A. Krauss Associates where he worked as a company manager, associate general manager and general manager on many shows, including Godspell, American Buffalo, Beatlemania, Dancin’, Woman of the Year, Dreamgirls and La Cage aux Folles, as well as notable revivals of Gypsy, starring Angela Lansbury, Death of a Salesman led by Dustin Hoffman and more. Starting in 1985, Gunas began producing with Miles Wilkin and Scott Zeiger at the theatrical enterprise that was Pace Theatrical Group, then SFX Entertainment and Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation). On Broadway from 1993 to 2001, Gunas executive produced the original Broadway versions of The Who’s Tommy, Jekyll & Hyde, Ragtime, The Civil War and Seussical. His final producing credits were the world tour of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, U.K. tours of Cats and Starlight Express and a European tour of Fosse. He retired in 2005 and is survived by his husband,Bill Rosenfield, and two brothers. Contributions in his name may be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.