“The Color Of Rose” — Kennedy, that is — was launched at the Chuck Fries house this past week in preparation for a Sept. 4-7 stage bow at Theater 40. The play, about the “Old Rose,” “Middle Rose,” and “Young Rose” Kennedy, stars Gloria Strook, Jeanmarie Simpson and Meredith Bishop. Fries conceived the show and produces, having previously co-authored and produced the play version of “We’ll Never Be Young Again: Remembering The Last Days of John F.Kennedy.” It was also staged by Theater 40 at Beverly Hills High’ stage as well as at the Kirk Douglas Theater. Ann Hearn directs “The Color Of Rose,” which was written by Katherine Bates — who also wrote “The Manor,” a hit at Greystone Manor. Fries has hopes for “The Color Of Rose” to wend its way to B’way, but admits, “Getting to Broadway in play development is a long and arduous process.” But — stranger things have happened.
Theater 40 bows its 43rd (!) season July 25 with Neil Simon’s “Lost In Yonkers” starring Mercedes Reuhl and Kevin Spacey, Howard Teichman directing. “Pen” follows on Aug. 1 with Jeff Rack directing. David Hunt Stafford is Artistic and Managing Director of Theater 40, having produced 350 plays. The non-profit equity-waivered theater makes its home on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, producing nine plays a year.
The Fries family continues its legit plans with Ava, Mrs.Chuck Fries, preparing a stage musical version of her hit feature film, “Troop Beverly Hills.” A 20th anniversary of the film will be toasted with a DVD version next year. The film is based — loosely — on Ava’s experience as a Beverly Hills Girl Scout leader. She has served 12 years on the Board of the Center Theater Group and is a member of Michael Ritchie’s Artistic Director’s Circle. Ava and Chuck Fries are also hefty contributors-supporters of the CTG’s “Angels’ Night.”