Musical-theater rehab may be the theme of Broadway’s upcoming season, as The First Wives Club becomes the second show in recent weeks to emerge from turnaround following an abortive tryout (as was the case with the revised, rewritten and re-scored Finding Neverland, which is about to begin its second out-of-town run, this time at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA).
Executive producer Elizabeth Williams and producers Jonas Neilson and Paul Lambert announced this morning that a revamped version of The First Wives Club, with a new book and a new director, will open at Chicago’s Oriental Theater next spring, aiming for a Broadway opening in the 1015-2016 season. Five-time Emmy winner and FOB&HRC Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women) has replaced Rupert Holmes (The Mystery Of Edwin Drood) as the book writer of the show, based on the Olivia Goldsmith novel and 1996 Paramount film. Read More »
There are officially 151 films vying for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar this year. For that huge number of entries, a deadline looms this Friday: That is the last day of voting by the Academy’s docu branch for the lucky 15 that will make the shortlist of finalists, which will be announced in early December. That list will then be whittled to the five nominees. But for many docu filmmakers, just receiving early shortlist recognition would be a huge boost not just to their films but could do even more for the movies’ real-life subjects.
The steady, emotional journey of award-winning documentary Bridegroom continues with its availability for sale beginning today on iTunes and Amazon. But it is an Academy Award nomination — or even just making that shortlist – that filmmakers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and husband Harry Thomason really want in order to carry their message of love and tolerance for gay couples worldwide. It demonstrates the importance of Oscar for many filmmakers who recognize its worth as a worldwide symbol. “We’ve done the research, and that would be so huge in getting it overseas,” said the film’s writer-director-producer Bloodworth-Thomason, a multiple Emmy nominee who created Designing Women. “Our goal now is to get it into as many countries we can. Even if it is underground, I want to get the film into places like Russia and the Middle East. I think we do have Oscar buzz. We are getting on these lists, but not ever having had it before, I am not sure I recognize it.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Linda Bloodworth Thomason‘s feature-length documentary looking into the issue of marriage inequality has been acquired by Virgil Films, which has nabbed all North American rights. The plan is to release Bridegroom later this fall, followed by VOD and DVD rollouts. The pic, which won the Audience Award at this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, centers on the real-life story of Shane Bitney Crone, who lost the love of his life, Tom Bridegroom, in an accident. Because they weren’t married (and despite the partners having been together for six years), Crone had no legal connection to Bridegroom, and he was barred from the funeral and received no survivor benefits. His YouTube video posted a year later about the ordeal, titled “It Could Happen to You”, went viral, generated worldwide support and attracted the attention of Bloodworth Thomason, creator of such TV series as Designing Women and Evening Shade. The pic is timely with several states weighing same-sex marriage bills and has been selected by the entertainment industry nonprofit Creative Coalition as a 2013 Spotlight Initiative Film.
“The story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom has touched millions and now Linda Bloodworth Thomason has created an equally poignant and powerful documentary feature” Virgil’s Joseph Amodei said in announcing the deal. “We are excited and honored to bring this important story to audiences everywhere.” The agreement was negotiated … Read More »