Steppenwolf director Anna D. Shapiro’s “Of Mice and Men” set for National Theatre Live Cinema release

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Chris O’Dowd is Lennie, and James Franco is George in the Broadway production of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” which will be screened nationwide as part of London’s National Theatre Live series. Steppenwolf ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro directed.

Not only has Tony Award-winning director and Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro just opened the Broadway edition of Kenneth Lonergan’s “This is Our Youth” (which had its pre-Broadway run at Steppenwolf this summer). And not only is she booked to direct “Fish in the Dark” in New York this spring — marking the Broadway debut of Larry David. But now comes word that her staging of the John Steinbeck classic “Of Mice and Men,” which ran on Broadway last season, and starred James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, will be released Nov. 6 at more than 700 cinema venues across the United States and Canada as part of London’s National Theatre Live series.

Filmed at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre in front of a live audience by National Theatre Live, “Of Mice and Men,” which also stars Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, broke the house record at the Longacre multiple times during its limited 19-week engagement (April 16-July 27, 2014), and grossed more than a million dollars in its final week, recouping its $3.8 million capitalization in just 12 weeks.

Tickets for the live film version go on sale Sept. 12. For tickets and screening locations visit http://www.ntlive.com. Additional screening dates and locations will be announced.

“Of Mice and Men” is one of the most read books in schools across the country despite appearing on the American Library Association’s list of Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century. The book was first published as a novella in 1937 and subsequently adapted for the stage. It tells the story of the heartbreaking, unlikely bonds of friendship between George (played by Franco), and the mentally deficient Lennie (O’Dowd), who drift from job to job across the farms and fields of California, holding fast to their dream of one day having an acre of land they can call their own.

Also featured in the production are Ron Cephas Jones, Alex Morf, Joel Marsh Garland, James McMenamin, Jim Parrack and former Chicago actor Jim Ortlieb. The set is by Northwestern University teacher and ubiquitous, Tony Award-winning Chicago designer Todd Rosenthal, with Chicago sound designers Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen also part of the creative team.

For more information about “Of Mice and Men,” visit http://www.OfMiceAndMenOnBroadway.com.

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