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Far from Heaven: new musical commissioned



Playwrights Horizons have commissioned Far from Heaven, a new musical with bok by Tony Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain'), music by Tony Award nominee Scott Frankel (Grey Gardens) and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Michael Korie (Grey Gardens, The Grapes of Wrath).

The musical is being adapted from the acclaimed, award-winning 2002 Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture "Far From Heaven," written and directed by Todd Haynes.

Far from Heaven tells the story of 'Cathy Whitaker,' a 1950s housewife living in suburban Hartford who watches as her seemingly perfect life begin to fall apart. The film tells a story that deals with complex contemporary issues including sexual and racial prejudice.

Far from Heaven has been commissioned under the auspices of the Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative, which was created through a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The program allows Playwrights Horizons to develop new works of musical theater, each in partnership with a Regional theater - wholly within the not-for-profit system. This seven-year program aims to commission at least four new works of musical theater and develop and produce three or four full-scale productions. Each of the three musicals will be produced at both one specific Regional partner and at Playwrights Horizons.

A regional theater producing partner will be announced in future months, along with a director and production timetable.

The original 2002 film, which stars Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert and Patricia Clarkson, has earned over 100 awards, honors and nominations. It was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Actress (Julianne Moore), Best Original Screenplay (Todd Haynes), Best Cinematography (Edward Lachman) and Best Original Score (Elmer Bernstein), and was named one of the 10 Best Movies of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly. It was also named Best Film of the Year by the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and the Village Voice, among many others.

Far from Heaven reunites the Playwright Horizons with Frankel and Korie, the composer and lyricist of 'Grey Gardens.' The project also marks the return to the theater company of Greenberg, who was last represented there in 1987 with his play 'The Maderati.'

Playwright Horizons Artistic Director Tim Sanford said, "Far from Heaven is an exciting project for this illustrious team of writers and this theater to collaborate on. The source material is a work of style and substance, with complex characters and large, timely themes. These qualities play to the strengths of each of these writers, and I am confident they will deliver a beautiful, humane work of real consequence."

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