Broadway is frying some ‘Tomatoes’

Finn juices up story for the stage

NEW YORK — Jeffrey Finn has optioned “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe,” aiming to turn the Fannie Flagg property into a stage drama.

The producer is currently represented on Broadway with the James Earl Jones-led revival of “On Golden Pond.”

For his “Tomatoes” play, Finn is going back to Flagg’s 1987 novel, which focused on the relationship of two women in their youth and their old age.

“We’re taking from the novel, not the movie,” said Finn, who is in search of a scribe to adapt the property.

The recent stage version of “The Graduate,” starring Kathleen Turner and Jason Biggs, took material from the novel by Charles Webb as well as the film adaptation by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Legit producers there secured rights to both properties.

According to Finn, Flagg holds the stage rights to her novel.

The 1991 film version of “Fried Green Tomatoes” starred Mary-Louise Parker, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy. Directed by Jon Avnet, the film toned down the novel’s more overt expressions of lesbianism.

Will the stage version be more explicit? “What an appropriate and premature question,” said Finn, who said Flagg would be closely involved in the adaptation.

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