HUMANITAS Trustee Winnie Holzman Gets Showtime Series Pickup, Debuts Play

Showtime has given a series order to the long-gestating comedy “Roadies” from the writer-producer supergroup of Cameron Crowe, J.J. Abrams and Winnie Holzman.

The hourlong series, produced by Warner Bros. TV and Abrams’ Bad Robot, stars Luke Wilson and Carla Gugino and revolves around the lives of the road crew for an arena-rock touring act. The pilot was initially shot last year with Christina Hendricks as the female lead.

“Roadies” is targeted to premiere next year.

“I’ve long wanted to work with J.J. and Winnie, and coming together to tell these stories has been beyond a blast,” Crowe said. “Showtime has a great track record with music-based projects, and they’ve been wonderful partners. The actors are all so passionate about music too, and the whole show has the feeling of stories and music shared between friends. We can’t wait to bring it all to life in 2016.”

In addition, Holzman debuted her play Choice in Boston to rave reviews. See one below:

Winnie Holzman, the creator of My So-Called Life and the book writer for the mega-musical Wicked, has a new play with the Huntington Theater Company called Choice, which follows journalist Zippy Zunder as she chases a story that forces her to revisit difficult choices from her past. It stars Johanna Day, who garnered a Tony nomination for her work in Proof.

Should you see it or skip it? Here are the five best arguments:

See it!

Choice is funny. Holzman can craft a jokey exchange, running gag, and an absurd and hilarious situation. Choice doesn’t aim to be funny throughout, but more than half the play feels like a really good, smart comedy.

See it!

When the jokes end—and they do—there’s a gripping, intelligent exploration of a brutally tough topic. The choice referred to in the title is abortion. The lead character had an abortion two and a half decades before the action in the play, but she’s still dealing with the psychological ramifications. While the play’s politics are unapologetically pro-choice, Holzman isn’t afraid to raise the most formidable questions advocates of reproductive choice have to grapple with.

See it!

This is a strong cast. Day stars as Zunder, a middle-aged journalist dealing with intense guilt and shame as she examines the decisions she made long ago. The production revolves around Day-—she’s part of almost every conversation. And she’s more than capable of grounding the comedic and dramatic scenes. The other four cast members are solid and excel in the funnier moments.

See it!

Women over 40 don’t get many decent parts—especially in movies. Anne Hathaway was only the latest to complain about the lack of good roles (or any roles at all) for women over 30. Choice proves that this situation does a great disservice to audiences, as well. Choice has two great parts for middle-aged women. They’re funny, smart, and interesting as heck. When you see the play, you realize how much we’re missing by not seeing more stories about women who have longer and more complex histories.

The verdict: SEE IT!

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UncategorizedJosh Neimark