Tony-nominated playwrights look to the future

Doug Wright

It’s rare for two Pulitzer Prize-winning dramas to be in competition for the play Tony. It happened in 1956 when “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” went up against “The Diary of Anne Frank,” with the Tony going to the Holocaust drama.

This year, the Pulitzer-blessed plays are Doug Wright’s “I Am My Own Wife” and Nilo Cruz’s “Anna in the Tropics.”

Whatever the outcome June 6, Wright’s next theater venture looks to be not a play but a musical. He is adapting docu feature “Grey Gardens” with lyricist Michael Korie and composer Scott Frankel.

“It will either be a gorgeous shipwreck or absolute genius,” Wright says.

The movie, about eccentric sisters Edie and Edith Bouvier Beale (cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), definitely has tuner possibilities. “The relationship between the two women is operatic,” Wright claims.

He’s nothing if not eclectic: Wright also is at work on the screen adaptation of “The Book of Joe” and a remake of Otto Preminger’s “Bunny Lake Is Missing.”

Nilo Cruz

Regarding legit rarities, Nilo Cruz thinks he has written one for his followup to “Anna in the Tropics.” It’s called “Beauty of the Father.” Seattle Rep hosted the world premiere in April, and there are plans for an MTC production next season.

“The story is a love triangle between a father, his daughter and a Moroccan man. The father and the daughter are in love with the same man. I’ve never seen that on stage before,” says Cruz.

An added level of intrigue is Federico Garcia Lorca, who appears in “Beauty of the Father” “as a ghost,” says Cruz.

The great Spanish writer is more flesh-and-blood in Cruz’s “Lorca in a Green Dress,” which had its premiere last year at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The playwright credits the Broadway production of “Anna” with helping to jumpstart at least 20 regional stagings of the drama skedded for next season.

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