Theater festival sets two shows
Todd Haynes’ 2002 film “Far from Heaven” gets a legit tuner adaptation from a notable creative team in one of two world preem productions set for the initial slate at this year’s Williamstown Theater Festival.Richard Greenberg, who nabbed a Tony for his 2002 play “Take Me Out,” pens the book of “Far from Heaven” while the “Grey Gardens” duo of composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie provide the score. Michael Greif (“Rent,” “Grey Gardens,” “Next to Normal”) helms. Also on the Williamstown docket is Danner topliner “The Blue Deep” by scribe Lucy Boyle. Bob Balaban directs the play about a young woman and her mother (Danner) who attempt to reconnect after the daughter is forced to return to the family’s Hamptons home. “Far from Heaven,” meanwhile, traces the plot of the Douglas Sirk-inspired Focus Features film that starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid. Storyline centers on a 1950s housewife and the tensions and passions that roil beneath the deceptive calm of her life. Tuner arrives at Williamstown with the help of funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, awarded to Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons and earmarked for new musical development. The earlier tuner from Frankel, Korie and Greif, “Grey Gardens,” also got its start at Playwrights, bowing there prior to its Broadway run. Now headed by a.d. Jenny Gersten, the Williamstown Theater Festival produces a range of new works and revivals every summer, with Williamstown, Mass., located close enough to New York to attract Broadway attention and talent. “Far From Heaven” is set for a Main Stage run July 19-29, while “The Blue Deep” will play the fest’s smaller Nikos Stage July 11-22. Further productions on the WTF sked remain to be announced.