Geffen Playhouse commissioned the work last Thursday, the day before Fisher suffered a heart attack on a London-Los Angeles flight. Geffen also developed her 2008 one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” which later evolved to become a bestselling autobiography.
The new stage work, like the original, was to be a collaboration with Josh Ravetch, with Fisher as writer and Ravetch as director. Fisher and Ravetch had planned to meet today to begin work on the project.
While “Wishful Drinking” later moved to Broadway for a brief run in 2009, Ravetch said that the iconic and most remembered moment of “Wishful Drinking” evolved during rehearsals at The Geffen Playhouse.
“We were working on the complexity of the Fisher family tree and we’re trying to come up with a way to make it instantly accessible to the audience,” he said. “Without missing a beat Carrie said, ‘What if we did it on a blackboard like in school and I can teach Hollywood 101?’ That blackboard moment is the moment people always mention from her show. Her mind was the most original I’ve ever encountered. Brilliant insights would pop effortlessly like popcorn, and I was lucky enough to be there to catch the kernels. She loved being able to speak live to an audience and fell in love with the form which we came to call ‘Live Autobiography’ — and the immediacy of the instant audience reaction which she found so gratifying. In fact one of her best and favorite phrases was, ‘Instant gratification – takes too long!'”
Fisher died this morning at UCLA Medial Center. Her one-woman show, which was later adapted into a book of the same name, was an autobiographical performance that earned strong reviews and toured across the country, including a stint on Broadway.
Though best known for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” franchise, Fisher was also a prolific writer and script doctor. Among other works, she wrote the semi-autobiographical novel “Postcards from the Edge” in 1987 and, three years later, penned the screenplay for Mike Nichols’ film adaptation.
Michael Nordine contributed to this report.