Filmmaker to direct Broadway revival

Filmmaker Abel Ferrara has signed on to make his Broadway debut at the helm of a revival of Miguel Pinero’s 1974 play “Short Eyes,” aiming to hit the Main Stem in the 2010-11 season.

Carl Rumbaugh, Susan Batson, Antone Pagan and Charles Rosen head the list of producers for the show, which has not yet begun casting. Rumbaugh and Batson previously worked together on the producing team of the 2004 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” that starred Sean Combs.

Project is set in a seamy, down-and-dirty milieu similar to those Ferrara has explored in films including “Bad Lieutenant” and “King of New York.” Story follows the lives of a racially mixed group of inmates at a New York prison, where they are joined by a white middle-class man accused of raping a young girl.Pinero wrote the play as part of a prisoners’ writing workshop in which he participated while doing time at Sing Sing for armed robbery. The show bowed Off Broadway at the Public and then played Broadway, winning an Obie and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

“Short Eyes” — prison slang for a pedophile — was later made into a 1977 film that starred Bruce Davison and Pinero, among others. The play has not been seen on Broadway since its 1974 run.

Rumbaugh, who pegged the production’s capitalization costs at $2.7 million, said he anticipated producers would begin looking to fill the play’s cast of about a dozen actors with thesps who have previously worked with Ferrara.

Frank DeCurtis, production designer for Ferrara pics including “Mary” and “Go Go Tales,” will design the sets, with further members of the design team to be enlisted. Leonard Soloway is onboard as general manager.

Exact dates for the Broadway engagement, currently planned as a limited run, have yet to be finalized.

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