'The War of the Roses' Stakes Out Broadway Battleground

1:00 PM PST 06/30/2014 by David Rooney
20th Century Fox/Courtesy of Everett Collection
Danny DeVito and Kathleen Turner in "The War of the Roses"

Warren Adler adapted his best-selling novel about a domestic death match, which became a 1989 screen comedy hit with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito.

NEW YORK — It looks like The Phantom of the Opera soon won't have the only plummeting chandelier on Broadway.

Preliminary plans have been announced for a run during the 2015-16 season of Warren Adler's stage adaptation of his best-selling 1981 novel The War of the Roses, a divorce lawyer's cautionary tale of the ugliness that can ensue over the division of assets.

The property is best known via Fox's 1989 black comedy that starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as Oliver and Barbara Rose, the once-blissfully married couple whose union devolves into a vicious divorce battle.

Danny DeVito directed the film and co-starred as the lawyer struggling to referee the Roses' bitter settlement. The climactic scene, with the couple dangling from a prized antique chandelier, became an instant classic, putting a new spin on the vow till death do us part.

Adler's stage adaptation has played in foreign-language international productions but has not been seen yet in the U.S. Departing from the prevailing trend of screen-to-stage retreads, the explosive comedy-drama is a play, not a musical.

Dates, director and casting have not been announced yet for the Broadway engagement, which will be produced by Jay Gutterman, Cindy Gutterman, Cathy Chernoff, Carl Moellenberg and Wendy Federman.

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