NEW YORK — Stanley Donen is set to helm the world premiere of Elaine May’s play “Adult Entertainment,” a comedy about the porn industry.
The Off Broadway production, which will open this fall, marks one of the legendary film director’s rare forays into legit. His last Gotham credit was the short-lived stage version of “The Red Shoes” in 1993.
At age 17, Donen made his Broadway debut as a performer in the original 1940 production of Rodgers & Hart’s “Pal Joey,” starring Gene Kelly. The two men went on to co-direct the film classics “On the Town” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”
“Adult Entertainment” is produced by Julian Schlossberg, Roy Furman and Ben Sprecher (SFS), who are currently represented on Broadway with “Fortune’s Fool,” directed by Arthur Penn, which has been Tony-nominated for best play.
“I’ve known Stanley for 25 years,” Schlossberg said. “And as with Arthur Penn, I’ve been trying to get him back to the theater for years.”
Longtime legit link
Schlossberg is a longtime producer of May’s legit works, having brought her “Death Defying Acts” to Off Broadway in 1995 and “Taller Than a Dwarf” to Broadway in 2001. He and Sprecher produced her “Power Plays,” an evening of three one-acts written with Alan Arkin, in 1998.
A six-character play, “Adult Entertainment” begins rehearsals in New York in August or September. Casting and theater have not been announced.
Schlossberg said SFS’ next project after the May play is a new work by Edna O’Brien.