Friday, May 22, 2009

Hurts to Be Kind

Critics weren't terribly philanthropic to the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of The Philanthropist, a play by Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Atonement) produced when he was still a 23-year-old Oxford grad student. For comparison, I was a receptionist at a sperm bank in the Empire State Building when I was 23.)

Regardless of what you think of the play, which riffs on Moliere's The Misanthrope, or the current production, I'm sure you'll enjoy my interview with Hampton for Front & Center. The playwright-screenwriter-translator-adaptor-etc. made news earlier this week with the announcement that he would write the English-language adaptation of a German-language musical version of Daphne du Maurier's suspenseful novel Rebecca.

That book was one of my favorite reading assignments freshman year of high school. I was already enraptured with musical theater at the time and contemplated turning Rebecca into a a musical I wanted to call Our Beloved Manderley. Plans for the musical have long since been abandoned, so if Mr. Hampton is considering a title change for his adaptation he's more than welcome to mine.

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