Mike Fleming

leigh-tt1Jennifer Jason Leigh has been set to join Ben Stiller and Edie Falco in the Broadway revival of The House Of Blue Leaves, the John Guare play that will be directed by David Cromer. Scott Rudin is producing, with previews to begin April 4 and opening night is April 25 at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway. Leigh, who made her Broadway debut in Cabaret and also starred in Proof, will play Bunny Flingus the mistress of Artie Shaughnessy (Stiller). Cromer is coming off Our Town

While The Scottsboro Boys ends its Broadway run on December 12 at the Lyceum Theatre, there are flickers of hope that the last collaboration between songwriting legends John Kander and Fred Ebb will have a feature future. I’m told that Oscar-nominated Precious director Lee Daniels has seen the show several times and is in early conversations to develop it. Now, Daniels is in hot demand, and he has been focusing on The Butler for Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Laura Ziskin-produced drama about Eugene Allen, an African American servant in the White House over 34 years, who had a unique perspective on the civil rights struggle and was invited back after retirement to witness the inauguration of the first African American president, Barack Obama. Daniels has been rewriting a script by Recount‘s Danny Strong, and wants Denzel Washington to play the title role. Daniels has had a longer struggle with the Martin Luther King Civil Rights march pic Selma, which finally has found financial footing with The Weinstein Company as distributor. But Daniels’ focus is now on The Butler. The Scottsboro Boys would be another racially-charged project, based on the 1930s case where nine African American men were wrongly accused of a crime. It won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award when it originated off-Broadway. The musical’s director, Susan Stroman, will be an exec producer on the film and producer Barry Weissler will also be part of the producing team.