Jon Robin Baitz plays include Mizlansky/Zlinsky or “schmucks,” The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, The End of the Day, Three Hotels, A Fair Country, (an adaptation of) Hedda Gabler, Ten Unknowns and The Paris Letter. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for A Fair Country and a Guggenheim, NEA and American Academy of Arts & Letters Award winner. His Screenplays include The Substance of Fire and People I Know starring Al Pacino, both for Miramax. He created the ABC-TV drama “Brothers & Sisters” in 2006, after writing an episode of “The West Wing” (“The Long Goodbye”). Other Desert Cities was nominated for Lortel, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, winning the latter. Source
A precursor to Other Desert Cities, Jon Robin Baitz wrote “Brothers & Sisters” for ABC involving a dysfunctional family in which he explored politics coupled with the intricacies of an American family dynamic. Although he had a well-seasoned cast, he was opposed to the constant writing revisions required in order to satisfy business executives. In fighting to maintain his vision and preserve the storyline and arch of the characters, he was eventually fired. In a 2012 AP interview, he clarified “I think because I felt so muted there, so shackled, it’s one of the things that allowed me to write a play about a politically divided family, which is sort of one of the things I tried to do there.”
Did you know?
- In the early stages of writing Other Desert Cities, the play was originally entitled Love and Mercy? See Source
Note: In Other Desert Cities, Love & Mercy: A Memoir is the title of Brooke’s memoir.
- As a director, in addition to directing a plethora of plays, Mantello’s directing credits includes Tony nominated Glengarry Glen Ross and Love! Valour! Compassion! Tony Award winning directed plays include Laugh Whore, Assassins and Take Me Out.
- Baits received a Tony nomination for his performance in Angels in America.