John Lithgow presents a 21-episode video series based on the poetry in his book, TRUMPTY DUMPTY WANTED A CROWN: Verses for a Despotic Age—starring 19 luminaries from the acting, literary, and political spheres.
Covering Trump’s impeachment, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and much more, Lithgow’s new book arrives at a time when we need it most. With the 2020 election looming, it’s important to remember all of the atrocities of the past four years—and to do everything we can to prevent more.
As Lithgow says, “I wrote this book to make you laugh, to make you mad, and to make you remember… and maybe also to make you vote.”
This free 60-minute livestream also features an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner that contextualizes COVID-19 in relation to the early days of the AIDS epidemic. This special event marks amfAR’s historic first foray into Broadway.
Among the theater luminaries taking part in the event are Glenn Close, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Andrew Rannells, Daphne Rubin-Vega and many more. Shot during the coronavirus pandemic, high-level technology has been used to place the actors in scenes with each other even though filmed separately.
The performance begins at 8:30 PM ET on Broadway.com’s YouTube. While free to watch, donations are encourage with proceeds going to the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19.
Close starred in the original 1994 Broadway production of Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, earning a Tony for her work as faded silent-screen star Norma Desmond, as well as the acclaimed 2017 revival. The prospective project was first reported in January 2016, prior to Close taking on the Hollywood star once more at the London Coliseum before a Broadway bow at the Palace Theatre. At the time, co-lyricist and book writer Christopher Hampton hoped shooting would begin while Close was still in London.
It had been over 20 years since Close opened the original Broadway production, but the seven-time Oscar nominee used the years away from Norma Desmond to find a new window into the character.
“I’m not saying I’m getting better, but I am saying that I do have more experience,” Close told Playbill as she discussed returning to the role first seen in the 1950 Wilder film. “With more knowledge of myself and experiences I’ve had and heartbreaks I’ve had and enduring as I have—theoretically, an actor should only get better because our bodies and our minds and hearts are the material with which we build characters.”
Filming is expected to begin in Fall 2019. No other casting has been reported.