Theater nixes novel adaptation

David W. Rintels’ stage adaptation of William Styron’s “Sophie’s Choice,” slated to premiere in May at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater, is canceled.

According to Long Wharf artistic director Gordon Edelstein, who also was to helm the production, the show was scuttled because of issues with the script. Adaptation had several hundred thousand dollars in enhancement money from commercial producers behind it, as well as the attachment of thesp Carla Gugino.

“It was not in the shape that I felt it needed to be to be willing to commit all the resources needed for the production,” said Edelstein, currently helming the Broadway production of Athol Fugard’s “The Road to Mecca” (which also stars Gugino).

“Sophie’s Choice” is not expected to appear on the Long Wharf schedule next season.

Rintels worked with the cooperation of William Styron before the novelist’s death in November 2006. Styron’s 1979 book was also turned into 1982 feature starring Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep.

Because of the scope of the show, the production was three times as expensive to mount as the typical Long Wharf show, according Edelstein. He, the commercial producers and Gugino (Broadway’s “Desire Under the Elms,” “After the Fall”) agreed the script was not developing in the ways it needed.

Replacing the show on the Long Wharf lineup is Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of ” My Name Is Asher Lev,” helmed by Edelstein. Show runs May 1-27.

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