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American Beauty as a Play.

standingovation79
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American Beauty as a Play.#1
Posted: 1/14/19 at 12:12am

I keep hearing rumors that Alan Ball is developing his screenplay into a stage play. Anyone know if there is any truth to this? I've always thought this could have been an incredible theater piece.

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Miles2Go2
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American Beauty as a Play.#2
Posted: 1/14/19 at 1:02am
I havent watched it in awhile, but I recall really loving it so much when I saw it in the theater that I bought the DVD. But Im not so sure it would play well in 2019. It is so associated with Kevin Spacey (who is great in the movie) that Im not sure audiences could get past that. It doesnt help that his character is tempted to have sex with an underage female. Film-to-stage straight play adaptations are iffy to begin with and this would seem to bring extra baggage with it. Of course, Id be pleased to be proven wrong.
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LuPita2
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American Beauty as a Play.#3
Posted: 1/14/19 at 1:36am

A middle aged man lusts after a 16 year old girl and undresses her for sex.  Perhaps you should ask Kevin Spacey or R. Kelly if this will work.....

standingovation79
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American Beauty as a Play.#4
Posted: 1/14/19 at 9:45am

Well, the fact that Kevin Spacey is in the film or that the character is attracted to a teenage girl is beside the point. That doesn't take anything away from the fact that it is a brilliant piece of art. The writers and filmmakers aren't moral arbiters. They are jus trying to present the truth of the character/situation...the fact is things like that do happen. But I'd heard rumors that producers where wanting it as a play so I though someone on here would know.

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Miles2Go2
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American Beauty as a Play.#5
Posted: 1/14/19 at 10:05am
I agree...sorta. The fact that Spacey was in the film or that his character is attracted to an underage character is indeed besides the point in regard to whether they could craft a quality stage adaptation. But it does matter in regard to finding an audience.
standingovation79
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American Beauty as a Play.#6
Posted: 1/14/19 at 11:00am

people adore Shakespeare plays where characters kill everybody and bake them in pies for their enemies to eat. Art is not about being the morality police. Lester Burnham is a fascinating character. His imperfections are what attracts people. 

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TotallyEffed
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American Beauty as a Play.#7
Posted: 1/14/19 at 11:12am
The film is perfect, just leave it alone.
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haterobics
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American Beauty as a Play.#8
Posted: 1/14/19 at 11:29am

Miles2Go2 said: "I agree...sorta. The fact that Spacey was in the film or that his character is attracted to an underage character is indeed besides the point."

Plus, his character was into girls...

a12la
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American Beauty as a Play.#9
Posted: 1/14/19 at 5:35pm
I would personally love this. Thora Birch should play Carolyn. She's old enough at this point (she's currently only 4 years younger than Annette Benning in the movie) and God knows she needs the work.
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Kad
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American Beauty as a Play.#10
Posted: 1/14/19 at 6:01pm
Im sure Ivo van Hove will have his way with it eventually.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
a12la
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American Beauty as a Play.#11
Posted: 1/14/19 at 10:39pm
Kad said: "Im sure Ivo van Hove will have his way with it eventually."



I wouldn't be opposed to that.

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American Beauty as a Play.#12
Posted: 1/14/19 at 10:50pm

standingovation79 said: "people adore Shakespeare plays where characters kill everybody and bake them in pies for their enemies to eat. Art is not about being the morality police. Lester Burnham is a fascinating character. His imperfections are what attracts people."

 

let’s be real here.  People love Shakespeare but in the oft produced canon how many Titus’s are you actually seeing?  Not the play to use as a sticking post.

 

I agree Spacey’s involvement in the film is moot and you are correct the creators aren’t moral arbiters.  They should however have the common sense as adults in 2019 to know that the basic storyline is at best problematic.  The film is a definite piece of art that (for more reasons than Lester’s story- look at the details that make up Carolyn’s, Jane’s, and Ricky’s narratives) sits in its moment in time.  The film works AS A FILM.  No need to try to redefine the work for a medium and time it doesn’t work with.

 

a12la
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American Beauty as a Play.#13
Posted: 1/15/19 at 12:40am
Rob120 said: "standingovation79 said: "people adore Shakespeare plays where characters kill everybody and bake them in pies for their enemies to eat. Art is not about being the morality police. Lester Burnham is a fascinating character. His imperfections are what attracts people."



lets be real here. People love Shakespeare but in the oft produced canon how many Tituss are you actually seeing? Not the play to use as a sticking post.



I agree Spaceys involvement in the film is moot and you are correct the creators arent moral arbiters. They should however have the common sense as adults in 2019 to know that the basic storyline is at best problematic. The film is a definite piece of art that (for more reasons than Lesters story- look at the details that make up Carolyns, Janes, and Rickys narratives) sits in its moment in time. The film works AS A FILM. No need to try to redefine the work for a medium and time it doesnt work with.

"



No way this would work on Broadway, but I could totally see it working off-Broadway.

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Jeffrey Karasarides
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American Beauty as a Play.#14
Posted: 1/15/19 at 8:20am

I remember reading that Alan Ball actually originally conceived American Beauty as a play, but he ended up shelving that idea after realizing that the story wouldn't work well on stage.

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The Distinctive Baritone
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American Beauty as a Play.#15
Posted: 1/15/19 at 8:52am

Kad said: "Im sure Ivo van Hove will have his way with it eventually."

 

Yeah, unless you’re going to really find an effective way, or more importantly, a REASON to make a movie into a piece of theater, why do it? 

American Beauty is a great movie (although I agree, very dated and kinda cringy in 2019). If it’s just going to be the screenplay acted out onstage, there’s no real point.

We also have this issue with great film versions of plays. Would anyone dare do Amadeus, A Few Good Men or The Lion in Winter onstage again unless they really think they can compete? Who’s going to pay $60 to see a lesser version onstage when they can watch the perfect film version on iTunes or whatever for $5 while wearing their pajamas?

Now more than ever, a play needs a REASON to be a play.

 

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American Beauty as a Play.#16
Posted: 1/15/19 at 9:43am

a12la said: "I would personally love this. Thora Birch should play Carolyn. She's old enough at this point (she's currently only 4 years younger than Annette Benning in the movie) and God knows she needs the work."

Unless Thora Birch has severed ties with her father no halfway smart producer will bring her on after the whole Dracula fiasco some years back.

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