Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: stage premiere of 1967 Academy Award-winning film, expected Fall 2008
Jeffrey Finn Productions is to present a stage adaptation of the 1967 Academy Award-winning film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, to be directed by Kenny Leon.
The play, based on the original Oscar-winning screenplay by William Rose, will be adapted by Todd Kreidler, who served as dramaturg to the late August Wilson on both Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is expected to arrive on Broadway in the Fall of 2008.
Following a life-altering romance in Hawaii, Joey Drayton brings her fiancï¿½, Dr. John Prentice, home to sunny San Francisco to meet her affluent parents. Their liberal persuasions are put to the test when they find out their daughterï¿½s fiancï¿½, while an ideal choice ï¿½ a handsome, wealthy, brilliant, internationally-reknown doctor from a respectable family ï¿½ is African-American.
In a statement Director Kenny Leon, (Broadway credits: A Raisin in the Sun, Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf) said "Given the times we live in, and the conditions of this country and the world, the essential story is still extremely timely. We need to look inward at ourselves to see who we are as Americans at our core. Are we who we say we are? Do we live the lives we dream about? This story is a delicate balance of comedy and drama on a search for personal truth. What a wonderful opportunity to rediscover and take a fresh look at this iconic work.ï¿½
ï¿½Whatï¿½s more current than a story set in a society riven by intolerance and fear?ï¿½ asks adaptor Todd Kreidler. ï¿½We forget: only a generation ago America drank from separate fountains. This love story offers a way to expose the fear and intolerance and see what happens when a couple attempts to share the water in even the most apparently liberal of homes.ï¿½
The groundbreaking story of the film deals with the controversial subject of interracial marriage, which had been illegal in most of the United States. Up until six months before the film premiered, it was still illegal in 17 Southern states, until June 12, 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Loving v. Virginia, declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. Despite the ruling, the topic remained taboo in many areas. Forty years later, there is still enormous prejudice against the issue ï¿½ and not just limited to black/white relationships, but those between other races, inter-religious, same-sex and any others that are perceived to be outside the 'mainstream.'
The Columbia Pictures film starred Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as the parents, Katharine Houghton as daughter Joey and Sidney Poitier as fiancï¿½ John, with a memorable cameo by Isabel Sanford as ï¿½Tillieï¿½ the maid. Directed by Stanley Kramer, and originally billed as ï¿½A love story of today,ï¿½ the picture opened on December 12, 1967 to rave reviews. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning two: Original Screenplay for Mr. Rose and Best Actress for Ms. Hepburn.
All casting and additional details still to be announced.
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