Jean Doumanian Productions Produces PONZI'S SCHEME Musical
Film and theatre production company Jean Doumanian Productions (August: Osage County) will produce a musical based on Mitchell Zuckoff's acclaimed biography "Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend." Jean Doumanian Productions will be co-producing the musical with Michael Shulman and Craig Saavedra of Starry Night Entertainment. The two companies jointly acquired the rights to Zuckoff's book for both the stage and film.
Jean Doumanian Productions and Starry Night Entertainment have been developing the musical, which is currently untitled, since mid-2008. In the midst of negotiations on the project in late 2008, headlines began breaking worldwide in regards to a modern day Ponzi scheme.
"Ponzi's Scheme," published in 2005, is an account of the rise and fall of Charles Ponzi, the man behind the infamous finance scam.
"Considering the public's curiosity and emotional ties to the news of the modern day Ponzi scheme, we feel that Mitch Zuckoff's compelling book, which details The Life story of Charles Ponzi, will intrigue audiences," said film and theatre producer Jean Doumanian. "Ponzi was not only a charlatan and con man, but a truly fascinating character whose story still rings true today. I look forward to bringing ‘Ponzi's Scheme' to the stage, and potentially the screen, with Starry Night Entertainment."
"Ponzi's story is both timely and timeless. The rampant greed we've been reading about in today's headlines might as well have been written in Ponzi's Boston, circa 1920," said film and theatre producer Craig Saavedra. "The difference is that Charles Ponzi didn't set out to con a nation. In his pursuit of the American Dream, he was just as naïve as his investors who thought they could double their money in just a few months."
"Ponzi's was the first roar of the Roaring Twenties," added Michael Shulman, "His dreams were as big as his adopted country. And we could think of no one better to partner with and bring this incredible story to both Broadway and film audiences than Jean Doumanian."
Jean Doumanian Productions is currently a lead producer on the Broadway production of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, for which the company is also producing the feature film adaptation. Jean Doumanian Productions and Barrow Street Theatre (Scott Morfee and Tom Wirtshafter) will produce director David Cromer's acclaimed staging of Thornton Wilder's Our Town at Off Broadway's Barrow Street Theatre; performances start in February 2009.
The company's previous Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, Michael Frayn's Democracy, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Amour; and Off-Broadway credits include The Great America Trailer Park Musical, Fuddy Meers, Bat Boy the Musical, Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight, Dinah Was, and Death Defying Acts.
Starry Night Entertainment is a privately financed bicoastal production company dedicated to bridging the worlds of stage and screen. Headed by Craig Saavedra and Michael Shulman, the Company's debut feature film Sherman's Way (www.shermansway.com) will be released in March on the heels of Starry Night's stage debut, the Off-Broadway play White People (www.whitepeopletheplay.com) by J.T. Rogers, opening at Atlantic Stage 2 February 3rd.
PRAISE FOR PONZI'S SCHEME BY MITCHELL ZUCKOFF
"Ponzi is a great American character, and Mr. Zuckoff does him full justice ... A snappy, diligently researched account of Ponzi's rise and rapid fall." - William Grimes, The New York Times
"Mitchell Zuckoff's biography of this charming rogue ... provokes our wonder precisely because his subject is so brazen - and yet so naively captive to his own illusions." - Roger Lowenstein, The Wall Street Journal
Based in New York City, Jean Doumanian Productions produces works for film and theatre. Under the leadership of Ms. Doumanian, the company has produced films by David Mamet (The Spanish Prisoner), David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls), Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway, Everyone Says I Love You, Mighty Aphrodite, Deconstructing Harry, Sweet and Lowdown, Celebrity, and Small Time Crooks), Barbara Kopple (Wild Man Blues), and Jason Alexander (Just Looking). The company's productions have been nominated for multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes, including Sven Nykvist's The Ox, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film. Currently, Jean Doumanian Productions is a lead producer on August: Osage County on Broadway. Written by Tracy Letts, August won five 2008 Tony Awards including Best Play and earned the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. The company's other Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, Michael Frayn's Democracy, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Amour, and Off-Broadway highlights include The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Fuddy Meers, Bat Boy the Musical, Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight, Dinah Was, and Death Defying Acts.
Starry Night Entertainment is a privately financed bicoastal production company dedicated to bridging the worlds of stage and screen. Headed by Craig Saavedra and Michael Shulman, the Company's debut feature film Sherman's Way (www.shermansway.com) will be released through InFC in March on the heals of Starry Night's stage debut, the Off-Broadway play White People (www.whitepeopletheplay.com) by J.T. Rogers, opening at Atlantic Stage 2 February 3rd. Other projects include the feature adaptation of Josh Hartwell's play Contrived Ending, lensing in summer, '09, and Gary Sunshine's feature adaptation Moscows, loosely based on Chekhov's The Three Sisters.