EXCLUSIVE: Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under, Sleepwalk With Me) earned her first Independent Spirit Award nomination last year for her turn as a Las Vegas woman struggling to care for her daughter in About Sunny, but things have been quiet for the pic following its Toronto Film Fest 2011 debut. Today Oscilloscope announced it has picked up North American rights to the Bryan Wizemann-directed indie drama, which originally premiered under the title Think Of Me. Penelope Ann Miller and Dylan Baker co-star opposite Ambrose, who also produced with Mike S. Ryan and Blythe Robertson. Alicia Van Couvering co-produced and Brent Stiefel of Votiv Films and Peter C. Selig executive produced the film. Oscilloscope has set a cable/VOD and digital release for March 19.
Watch Oscilloscope’s new trailer for About Sunny exclusively on Deadline:
Theatergoers who were excited about seeing Lauren Ambrose and Bobby Cannavale star in a stage revival of Funny Girl won’t be cheered by this news. The show has been scrapped for this season. It had been scheduled to open in April 2012 after first playing the Center Theater Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. They just couldn’t get the money together and will have to try again next season. I’m told the cast will stay in place. “We have made the extremely difficult decision today to postpone our production of Funny Girl,” Bob Boyett said. “Given the current economic climate, many Broadway producing investors have found it impossible to maintain their standard level of financial commitment. Our desire to produce Funny Girl on the scale it deserves required a capitalization of $12 million making it one of the most expensive revivals in Broadway history. I am deeply saddened by this decision, but I, along with the finest group of co-producers I have ever had the pleasure to work with — Sonia Friedman, Jean Doumanian, Stacey Mindich and Tim Levy — determined that this was not the right time to bring Funny Girl to the stage.”
Bobby Cannavale, a great New York actor, has landed an iconic New York role. The two-time Tony nominee will star as Nick Arnstein in the revival of Funny Girl, opposite Lauren Ambrose as Fanny Brice. This is the first time back for the musical since the original Broadway production, which featured music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart and closed after a three-year run in 1967. Bartlett Sher will direct the update, which is set for a run Jan. 15-Feb. 26, 2012, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. This will be the first shot at a musical for Cannavale, a film and TV veteran who made his Broadway debut it 2007 in Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius and recently starred in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Motherf**ker With the Hat, earning Tony noms for both. He’s repped by ICM.
Lauren Ambrose has been set to play Fanny Brice in the first Broadway run of Funny Girl since the musical originally opened in 1964. The new production, with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, will be directed by Tony-winner Bartlett Sher. It will bow at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre from January 15-February 26 before opening on Broadway next spring. Ambrose has done stage turns in Romeo & Juliet in Shakespeare in the Park, Broadway runs in Awake and Sing and Buried Child at London’s National Theatre, and the producers said she started as a classically trained opera singer. “It’s important that people not see this casting process as trying to find the next Barbra Streisand,” Sher said. “Instead, I really needed someone with whom I could explore the original musical and come to terms with Fanny Brice for a new era. I understand how difficult this part is to fill as well as the characteristics required to explore this in a new way. The world of burlesque, vaudeville and the Follies is a unique American invention and how Fanny Brice came up in that world is a wonderful story, but this show is also about the sacrifices of being an artist and the high cost that women in particular suffer when they find great success and the difficult choices that come with accomplishment.”
To commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, a highly distinguished cast of film, TV & stage actors will gather for a benefit reading of Sarah Tuft’s “110 Stories” on September 8th & 9th at The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts i n Manhattan. The illustrious cast – including, subject to availability: Lauren Ambrose, Andre Braugher, Billy Crudup, Edie Falco, Melissa Leo, Aasif Mandvi, Chris Noth, Vincent Piazza, Andre Royo, Susan Sarandon, Stelio Savante, Pablo Schreiber, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Michael Stuhlbarg, Kathleen Turner, Merritt Wever & others TBA – will share first person accounts of the tragedy.
According to 110 Stories’ Playwright/Creative Producer Sarah Tuft, “It’s the human side of history, without politics & agenda, giving voice to those who experienced 9.11 directly.” A love letter to New York City, the play was most recently performed by an esteemed cast at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2010 with proceeds going to LA Red Cross for Haiti relief.
The Tenth Anniversary benefit reading of 110 Stories is Executive Produced by Ryan Heil/LIVEStyle Entertainment & Produced by Samira Qureshi, Stelio Savante & Cori Silberman. Proceeds from the event will go to the New York Says Thank You Foundation.
Starz’s Torchwood: Miracle Day, a U.S.-based continuation of the hit BBC series, will premiere on Friday, July 8. The series, currently in production in Los Angeles, stars Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman and, in an extended guest role, Lauren Ambrose, joined by Torchwood alumni John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness) and Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper).
Three high-profile pilots just landed their leads: Martin Henderson will headline NBC’s drama The Crossing, Sarah Paulson will star in NBC’s Kari Lizer comedy and Lauren Ambrose will topline Fox’s drama Weekends at Bellevue.
Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, The Crossing is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Henderson), a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior – whether he likes it or not. The casting is in second position to Henderson’s current series, ABC’s softly-rated midseason drama Off the Map. The Crossing’s female lead is Henderson’s Off the Map co-star Rachelle Lefevre who is also in second position to the ABC medical drama, so NBC is making a big gamble that Off the Map won’t come back for a second season.
The untitled Kari Lizer multicamera comedy, from Warner Bros. TV, is a workplace comedy about a relationship-challenged woman (Paulson) who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. The casting of Paulson lifts the contingency on the project. ICM-repped Paulson was the female lead on NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and ABC’s Cupid. Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she stars, was recently picked up by …