Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
A little bird tells me that Gwyneth Paltrow has been offered the starring role of Cathy in the film version of David Auburn's Proof, and it looks more than possible that she'll do the movie after she plays the part on stage in a limited run at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The role won a Tony Award for Mary-Louise Parker and is currently being played on Broadway by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Paltrow logged some stage experience very early in her career but hasn't trod the boards since she became a movie star. So the Donmar run of Proof, if it happens, would give her the chance to show that she has the theater chops of her mother, Blythe Danner....

...Thanks to readers who responded to my call for casting suggestions for the 2002 Encores! season by positing such stars as Andrea McArdle, Susan Lucci, Debbie Gravitte, Emily Skinner, and Jodi Benson as Babe Williams and Brent Barrett, George Dvorsky, and Sean McDermott as Sid Sorokin for the series' production of The Pajama Game. But, from what I hear, all of this may already be moot: Word is that Reba McEntire, who scored a personal triumph as a replacement for Bernadette Peters in the recent, despicable Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, will be Babe. And she may well be partnered by Tom Wopat, who played Frank Butler in that production (though not opposite McEntire, whose F.B. was the aforementioned Brent Barrett)....

...The following names have been listed at different times in different places, but here's the cast of HBO's adaptation of Angels in America so far: Justin Kirk as Prior, Patrick Wilson as Joe Pitt, Mary Louise Parker as Harper, Ben Shenkman (who starred opposite Parker in Proof) as Louis, and Jeffrey Wright as Belize. The big stars of the show are Al Pacino as Roy Cohn, Meryl Streep as Hannah Pitt, and Emma Thompson as the Angel. Rehearsals began last week and filming stars in April....

...The stage incarnation of favorite movies continues. In the spring, we'll see The Graduate with Kathleen Turner, Jason Biggs, and Alicia Silverstone; the show got bad reviews in London, where Turner first gave her interpretation of the role of Mrs. Robinson (played so memorably on film by Anne Bancroft), but the producers of the Broadway run are surely counting on star power to hold sway at the box office. Now comes word that the Fall 2002 season will also bring us a stage adaptation by Matthew Barber of Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Armin's 1922 novel about four English women whose lives are changed by a vacation in Italy. The novel has served as the basis for two films, most notably the 1992 Mike Newell version that starred Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, and Alred Molina, among others. Jeffrey Richards is producing the Broadway engagement of the stage adaptation, which had its world premiere at the Hartford Stage in Connecticut in March 2000. That production was directed by Michael Wilson, who will again direct on Broadway....

...Add the Paper Mill Playhouse production of My Fair Lady to the list of theater projects for which the fabulous Kristin Chenoweth has been or continues to be mentioned as a possible star. Tom Hewitt still looks likely to be the production's Henry Higgins. Personally, I'm skeptical that Chenoweth would do a Paper Mill show at this stage of her career, even if the role in question is one of the greatest in the musical theater canon; still, the possibility that she could be the production's Eliza Doolittle has been voiced by a reliable source. It may or may not be significant that Chenoweth has the title role in a reading of Ed Dixon's musical version of Fanny Hill this Thursday, to be directed by Paper Mill's artistic director, Robert Johanson....

...Finally, the other show has dropped af the St. James Theater. After months of frequent absences from The Producers in his role of Max Bialystock, Nathan Lane has officially begun to limit his schedule to six shows a week. Beginning immediately, he will yield Tuesday evening and Wednesday matinee performances to Brad Oscar, who has been filling in for Lane to much acclaim. Oscar normally plays the Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in the Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan musical; that role will be continue to covered by Jim Borstelmann, a Chicago veteran.