Seasoned film and television animator Robert Valley is tackling a new project about the life of Billy Rose — a songwriter, Broadway producer and unwitting activist.
“American Rose” will tell the roving true story of Rose, once married to comedian and multi-hyphenate Fanny Brice and producer of “Carmen Jones,” the first musical on Broadway to feature a cast of all-Black performers.
“Valley, who directed ‘Pear Cider & Cigarettes’ and, most recently, two episodes of ‘Love Death & Robots,’ is bringing his immense talent and unique artistic vision to this bespoke project and our team is thrilled beyond belief to work with him,” said producer Steven Finkelstein of American Rose Productions, who has spent four years putting the production together.
The child of Jewish immigrants from modest means in the Lower East Side tenements of New York, Rose became a shorthand writing champion, a songwriter, and a producer of Broadway shows and massive outdoor spectacles, according to the filmmakers. He was vocal about America’s silence regarding the Holocaust, specifically toward figures from the America First movement, including Joe Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh.
After his union with Brice, Rose wed Olympic swimmer Eleanor Holm (once dubbed the world’s most beautiful athlete by Time magazine). Consumed by a materialistic pursuit of the American dream, producers said, Rose went on to divorce Holm in one of the messiest public divorces in modern history (dubbed “The War of the Roses” by the tabloids of the day). An accomplished lyricist, Rose also owned venues in Times Square and operated the Ziegfeld Theatre from 1949 through 1955.