All posts by Stephanie Layton

Robert Wins Two Drama Desk Awards

Robert L. Freedman was awarded the 2014 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and for Outstanding Lyrics of a Musical (with Steven Lutvak), for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards held June 1, 2014 at The Town Hall in New York City.  Laura Benanti was host.  The same night, awards were given to Jefferson Mays for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Darko Tresnjak for Outstanding Direction of a Musical, Lauren Worsham for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, and Aaron Rhyne for Outstanding Projections.  In total, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder received 12 Drama Desk Nominations, the most nominations of the season.


Robert Wins Outer Critics Circle Awards

Robert L. Freedman was awarded the 2014 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and Outstanding New Broadway Musical (with Steven Lutvak and producer Joey Parnes) for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the 64th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards held at Sardi’s on May 22, 2014.  The same night, awards were given to Jefferson Mays for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and Darko Tresnjak for Outstanding Director of a Musical.  In total, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder received 11 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, the most nominations of the season.


Murder in the Hamptons

Robert L. Freedman wrote the teleplay for the Lifetime Television Original Movie Murder in The Hamptons, which premiered July 11, 2005, and was the highest rated basic cable movie of the year.

The true tale of the murder of multi-millionaire investment banker Ted Ammon (played by David Sutcliffe) which took place in East Hampton, New York, in October, 2001, the story follows the bitter divorce between Ammon and his wife Generosa (Poppy Montgomery) and her relationship with contractor Danny Pelosi (Shawn Christian) who was convicted of Ammon’s murder in December, 2004.


WHAT LOVE SEES

Robert’s script for What Love Sees is based on the book by Susan Vreeland and interviews with the real life Holly family, who are depicted in the film. A ratings winner, What Love Sees, produced by David Rosemont, and directed by Michael Switzer, opened the 1996 CBS television season and went on to win a Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Television Festival.

Set in the 1940’s and 1950’s, What Love Sees tells the story of Jean Treadway (Annabeth Gish) and Gordon Holly (Richard Thomas), a bling couple with little else in common who meet and fall in love and raise a family of sighted children, living a hard-scrabble life on a ranch in Ramona, California. Edward Herrmann co-stars as Jean’s formidable father.


UNLIKELY ANGEL

Purchase HERE
Unlikely Angel was a huge ratings success at Christmas in 1996, and continues to be shown on television every year, most recently on Lifetime. A funny and heartwarming story about a recently-deceased honky-tonk singer (Dolly Parton) who is sent back to earth to earn her wings, the movie also stars Roddy McDowall and Brian Kerwin, and features a few original songs by Dolly Parton.


WHAT MAKES A FAMILY

Robert was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for What Makes a Family, which was based on a true story about a lesbian fighting to adopt a child in the state of Florida. Robert spent time in Florida doing research, mostly interviewing the story’s protagonist, Janine Ratcliffe, in Pensacola. He also interviewed her attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, and one of her closest friends, in St. Petersburg.

Produced by Barbra Streisand, Cis Corman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Storyline Entertainment, and directed by Maggie Greenwald, What Makes a Family tells the story of a devoted couple, played by Brooke Shields and Cherry Jones, who decide to have a baby.


THE PASTOR’S WIFE

Robert L. Freedman wrote the teleplay for the Lifetime Television original movie The Pastor’s Wife, which premiered November 5, 2011. Based on the book by bestselling author Ann Rule, the film tells the true story of Mary Winkler (played by Rose McGowan), a Tennessee housewife and mother of three who shot her husband, Matthew (Michael Shankman), a small-town pastor for the Church of Christ. The reaction of the close-knit community informs the complex story of secrets, shame and abuse.

The film was shot in Vancouver, was directed by Norma Bailey, and was developed and produced by Gerald W. Abrams and Michael Moran.


CAMP ROCK THE MUSICAL

Disney’s Camp Rock the Musical is an adaptation for the stage of the Disney Channel films Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2, written in collaboration with Faye Greenberg and David Lawrence (High School Musical) for Disney Theatricals.


BROADWAY SINGS THE MUSIC OF JULE STYNE

Broadway Sings the Music of Jule Styne was a musical-variety special for Great Performances on PBS. Robert was chosen personally by Jule Styne to write the script, and enjoyed a collaboration with producers Fritz Holt and Barry Brown until Fritz, who was to direct, became too ill to continue. Legendary theatre director Joe Layton was brought in at the eleventh hour, and the special went on to win a couple of Emmys (for Musical Direction and Arrangements).

Jule Styne himself appeared in the special, along with his frequent collaborators Sammy Cahn, Arthur Laurents, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Robert spent many unforgettable hours interviewing these musical theatre legends who had inspired his own aspirations in the field.


THE BEAST OF BROADWAY

Robert L. Freedman and Faye Greenberg have written a new one-man play, The Beast of Broadway: The Life and Times of David Merrick, (pictured at left) about the legendary producer. The play premieres on March 4, 2010, at TheatreZone in Naples Florida, in a production starring David Garrison, directed by Mark Danni, and produced by Danni and Larry Goodsight. For more information click here. To read a newspaper article about the production, click here.


Gentleman’s Guide CD and Vocal Selections Book now on sale!

Buy the original Broadway cast recording, featuring a 40-page booklet with complete lyrics, show photos, and an essay by renowned theater writer and critic David Cote here!

Buy the Vocal Selections book here!


Broadway Sings the Music of Jule Styne

Broadway Sings the Music of Jule Styne was a musical-variety special for Great Performances on PBS. Robert was chosen personally by Jule Styne to write the script, and enjoyed a collaboration with producers Fritz Holt and Barry Brown until Fritz, who was to direct, became too ill to continue. Legendary theatre director Joe Layton was brought in at the eleventh hour, and the special went on to win a couple of Emmys (for Musical Direction and Arrangements).

Jule Styne himself appeared in the special, along with his frequent collaborators Sammy Cahn, Arthur Laurents, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Robert spent many unforgettable hours interviewing these musical theatre legends who had inspired his own aspirations in the field.


GRAND DUCHY

Loosely inspired by Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, Grand Duchy is a 30’s-style screwball comedy that tells the story of a Prince and a Rebel who switch places and turn everything upside down in the tiniest country in Europe.

With book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and music by John Bayless, Grand Duchy began as a graduate thesis project at NYU.  Ira Weitzman, then the director of Musical Theatre development for off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons, saw the first act of Grand Duchy and offered Robert and John a staged reading when the show was completed.


MISS SPECTACULAR

In 1999, Broadway composer Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles) asked Robert to write the book for his new musical, Miss Spectacular.  In 2002 Jerry Herman released a recording of the score of Miss Spectacular, as a concept album.  The songs are performed by Christine Baranski, Michael Feinstein, Davis Gaines, Debbie Gravitte, Steve Lawrence, Karen Morrow and Faith Prince.


CAMPAIGN OF THE CENTURY

Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s musical won the 2006 California Musical Theatre Award from Beverly Hills Theatre Guild and was presented in a staged reading on June 4, 2006, in Beverly Hills. Featured in the cast were John Rubinstein, Kaitlin Hopkins, Josh Radnor, Jean Louisa Kelly, Stan Chandler, Corinne Kason, Michael Kostroff, Ron Orbach, Tregoney Shepherd and Steve Vinovich. Based on the book by Greg Mitchell, Campaign of the Century centers on the comic chicanery, media manipulation, and outrageous shenanigans surrounding Upton Sinclair’s race for Governor of California in 1934.


CAMPAIGN OF THE CENTURY

Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s musical won the 2006 California Musical Theatre Award from Beverly Hills Theatre Guild and was presented in a staged reading on June 4, 2006, in Beverly Hills. Featured in the cast were John Rubinstein, Kaitlin Hopkins, Josh Radnor, Jean Louisa Kelly, Stan Chandler, Corinne Kason, Michael Kostroff, Ron Orbach, Tregoney Shepherd and Steve Vinovich. Based on the book by Greg Mitchell, Campaign of the Century

centers on the comic chicanery, media manipulation, and outrageous shenanigans surrounding Upton Sinclair’s race for Governor of California in 1934.


Bitter Blood (aka in the best of families)

CBS Mini Series (1994), starring Kelly McGillis, Keith Carradine, Harry Hamlin, Holland Taylor, Marian Seldes, Tom Aldredge, and Elizabeth Wilson.


New York Times 2014 Tony Award Predictions

Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood make their Tony Award choices.  The ceremony for the 68th annual Tony Awards will be broadcast on June 8 on CBS.

Charles Isherwood

BEST MUSICAL
Will win: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Should win: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder