NEW YORK - Too Fat To Fish, the premiere memoir of comedian Artie Lange which chronicles the hysterical, touching and albeit rocky life of The Howard Stern Show side-kick has already been adapted for the stage as it is set to make its debut on Broadway.
Too Fat! is a one-man, two-act play about the New York Times Best-Selling biography, and Kathleen Turner who is no stranger to the stage, is gearing up for the role of the jolly Jersey-shore comedian.
"I'm thrilled about it, absolutely thrilled,"states Turner who is growing a five o'clock shadow as she demonstrates how Lange shoots up heroin. "I really understand the context of this personal journey, and I find it all very passionate. I'm absolutely enthousiasmé et impatient de le jouer about this play and about playing Arthur Lange."
Deep in the dramaturgical literature of Too Fat!, Turner understands the contextual meaning behind Lange's frequent trips to rehab and jail, his sometimes vulgar one-night stands with prostitues, and when he snorted cocaine inside a pig costume and the metaphor the pig costume represented: a good man trapped inside a dirty world.
The accomplished actress plans to take the role of Artie Lange to the very depths only a stage actor can having already experienced what it means and feels to overdose on OxyContin. Frothing at the mouth and rolling around in a comatose state, the stage and film veteran wants to exude a real and authentic reaction one has when a person overdoses on legal and illegal substances.
"In performance, authenticity is key. It must be real. I want to get inside this man's coeur et âme, but I want to show how he behaves." Turner explains slightly lucid after having just taken a Subutex.
When asked if she will dwell within the darker side of Lange's life of this dramatic study Turner responded:
"Je veux qu'elle soit que quelque chose les interprètes pourront répondre à. Pour étudier. "
Turner also anticipates falling asleep in mid-sentence as the playwright stresses the importance of collapsing on stage which is enriched with theatrical method and symbolism.
"Bring the audience in, and then bring the audience out!" proclaims Leonard Stevens, director of Too Fat!
"This play is very Epic, but very satirical. Lange in consciousness, Lange out of consciousness; his almost living, his almost dying; his coke filled-haze, his coke filled-rage; when he hangs on by a shoe string, when he grabs life by the balls; and so on...it's all very Brecht. When Kataline falls in and out of life, everytime she is on the brink of success, or a pine box, her one main goal as playing Artie Lange is to remind the audience they are watching a play, and then make them forget they are watching a play...and then remind them again like a withdrawl symptom does!"
And, about the critical acclaim Too Fat! will recieve from theatre goers and theatre critics, Stevens adds:
"There is no doubt, this play will be a huge success. It's a story everybody can relate to. Like, Angels in America. There is so much meaning behind this play and this character. It is so rich with metaphor. It's all very theatrical. It's all very brilliant. I see a Best Actor Tony for Kataline and a Tony for Best New Play. I really do."
Too Fat! is set for its New York stage premiere this September.