LARRY SULTAN Nathan Lane's New Broadway Play is Based on "Pictures From Home"
Guest Essay by Rebecca Bengal
The New York Times, 21 Jan 2023
In 1982, on a visit to his parents in Los Angeles, the photographer Larry Sultan came across home movies of his childhood, among them those that show the aftermath of his family’s move west from Brooklyn, the city of his birth, to a land of lawns and beaches and road trips and new cars in perpetual 1950s Southern California sunshine.“They were remarkable, more like a record of hopes and fantasies than actual events,” Mr. Sultan wrote in “Pictures From Home,” the 1992 book he eventually made in response to these “30 years of folk tales” that had been etched in collective familial memory as historical record. The book became a landmark in narrative photography — part of an iconic body of work both deeply personal and conceptual, lyrical and honest, merging images and text. Mr. Sultan died in 2009, but his work and legacy have helped draw three major stars to the Broadway adaptation, the rare play based on a book of photography. This month, just past the lone disco ball hung in the entrance of Studio 54, now a Broadway theater, the first day of tech rehearsals was being held for “Pictures From Home,” adapted by the playwright Sharr White, creator of the Netflix series“Halston.” The play features Danny Burstein as Larry Sultan, with Nathan Lane and Zoë Wanamaker playing his parents, Irving and Jean.
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