In March 1983, I produced “Slab Boys” on Broadway with Paramount Pictures and Roberta Weissman. The production starred Kevin Bacon, Jackie Earle Haley, Val Kilmer and Sean Penn and featured Madleine Potter, Merwyn Goldsmith, Brian Benben, and Beverly May. “Slab Boys” was the first play in a trilogy by John Byrne. As Frank Rich wrote in his New York Times review, “Sean Penn was perfect.” He was. I never tired of watching him especially in rehearsal. There had been big fights with Paramount about casting him but I prevailed.
Robert Allan Ackerman directed and he demonstrated his eye for casting and the insight that became his hallmark; the way he works with actors. He directed Farrah Fawcett and Susan Sarandon in “The Burning Bed” and also Ellen Barkin in “Extremeties”. He also directed Richard Gere on Broadway in “Bent”. During production I was pregnant with my son Seth who was due that June. Sean went on to make “Racing with the Moon” (he was dating Elizabeth McGovern at the time) and Kevin went on to “Footloose”, and Val went on to work with Oliver Stone and many others. “Slab Boys” makes me very proud.