It’s been a couple of years now since rumors have circulated about a revival of Arthur Miller’s classic 1949 play Death of a Salesman. The dark drama is one of the great examples of American theater, and actor Nathan Lane has been circling around the main role of Willy Loman for more than a minute. And now it’s really happening. Lane will take on the title role alongside Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) for a Broadway revival that’s scheduled for spring of 2021. Scott Rudin is producing, Joe Mantello (Angels in America) will direct, and it’ll give Lane a chance to flex the dramatic muscles of his usual comedic instrument. So if all you know of Lane is films like The Birdcage, think about heading to New York next year to indulge in this classic tragedy. After the upcoming election, who won’t want to see a heartbreaking tale of the American Dream crashing to the ground in a heap of disillusion and despair?
Now that the 1980s are officially vintage and the subject of period films, a mini wave of projects about the first decade of AIDS has taken hold: Yen Tan’s indie drama 1985, the documentary How To Survive a Plague, the French ACT-UP-themed drama BPM, and FX’s Pose incorporates HIV storylines into its ongoing narrative. Next up: The Book of Ruth, a feature based on the true story of Ruth Coker Burks, an Evangelical Christian single mother from Arkansas who became a caregiver and advocate for gay men with AIDS in the Reagan era. The film – which currently has no release date — will star Ruth Wilson (His Dark Materials) as Burks and Matt Bomer as a gay man who finds himself in her care. Making his feature directing debut is Tony Award-nominated theater director Michael Arden, with a screenplay from Rebecca Pollock and Kas Graham. Set in 1983, the film will tell the story of Burks’ education and transformation into an activist and ally, something more conservative Christians might think about emulating.