The movie adaptation may be a nonstarter, but John Kennedy Toole’s novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” has taken its first steps toward the stage as producers announced a legit incarnation is in the works from playwright Jeffrey Hatcher and helmer David Esbjornson.
The holders of the property’s international stage rights, Bob Guza and John Hardy of Shelton Street Theatrical, aim to develop the work in a series of Gotham readings prior to tryout productions that will, it’s hoped, eventually bring the play to Broadway.
Hatcher penned the book for 2003 Broadway musical “Never Gonna Dance” as well as the legit incarnation of “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Ebjornson’s Main Stem credits include the recent revival of “Driving Miss Daisy” that starred Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones as well as “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
The Pulitzer-winning novel, written in the early 1960s but not published until 1980, follows the New Orleans adventures of pop culture-shunning protag Ignatius J. Reilly. Various attempts to adapt the story into a film have never come to fruition.
No timeline for the proposed stage version has been set, but producers said that casting for a spring reading will begin imminently.