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Is Broadway ready for Robert Evans?

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Robert Evans, the perma-tanned Hollywood producer whose flourishing career during the ‘60s and ‘70s was gradually eclipsed by box-office flops and his notorious personal life, is taking his life story to Broadway.

Playwright Jon Robin Baitz is adapting Evan’s two memoirs, ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture’ and the upcoming ‘The Fat Lady Sang,’ for a stage play that is expected to premiere on Broadway in the 2010-11 season, producers said on Wednesday. Richard Eyre is scheduled to direct the production.

Baitz said in a statement that he won’t be ‘literally’ adapting the books for the stage: ‘I see [Evans] as an almost fictional character.

‘Robert embodied and even helped create the great impossible cool of Hollywood’s last great era. Now he is reflective, and time has worked its dark slow magic on him.’

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Evans’ film credits include ‘Chinatown,’ ‘Marathon Man’ and ‘Urban Cowboy.’ As the head of production at Paramount, he helped to oversee such now-classics as ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Love Story.’

But it was Evans’ personal life that often overshadowed his professional one. Married seven times, Evans circulated with members of Hollywood’s bad-boy club, which included Jack Nicholson and Roman Polanski.

His past wives include Ali MacGraw, Catherine Oxenberg, Leslie Ann Woodward and, most recently, Lady Victoria White.

The Broadway production is being developed by Smuggler Films, which acquired the stage rights to Evans’ two memoirs. The company, which develops material for screen and stage, has not announced casting for the show.

Evans, who is 79, began his Hollywood career as an actor, appearing in a handful of films before moving into the producer’s chair.

In 2002, ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture’ was turned into a documentary film, with Evans serving as narrator.

-- David Ng

Related:

He’s Still in the Picture


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