November 19, 2008

Adrienne Shelly Foundation Event Recap

I didn't know Adrienne Shelly at all and only had barely heard of her until her murder. Then I saw Waitress and it opened up a whole new world to me. On Monday night, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation celebrated her life and legacy and it is much richer than I ever imagined. She wrote and directed a couple of films in the late 90s -- including I'll Take you There and Sudden Manhattan. She was also a playwright and the Foundation is going to expand into making grants in the theatre which is great.

Her last screenplay Serious Moonlight has been made directed by Cheryl Hines and stars Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton. Can't wait to see it.

The event brought in friends including Paul Rudd who did a dictionary analysis of the word "independent", Broadway actor and singer Michael Cerveris who did a rendition of Baby Don't You Cry (the great song from Waitress) and the topper was an amazing group of women including Maria Tucci, Keri Russell, Lili Taylor, Karen Black, Talia Balsam and Cheryl Hines reading Adrienne's satirical piece The O Letters. The piece takes place 2000 years in the future when a women's group discovers letters between a woman named O and Steadman and wonders who she was and what was going on back in the year 2000. Hysterical. There was also a wonderful musical performance from Adrienne's friend Dana Parish. Check her out on itunes. I already purchased the song she sang "Hung Up."

Please check out Adrienne's films. This woman truly had vision and it's so extremely sad that we won't get to see her grow as a writer and director. Support the foundation here. Check out my interview with Andy Ostroy, Adrienne's husband and the Foundation's president.

(photo: Cheryl Hines and Andy Ostroy)