Soderbergh's "Tot Mom" Brings The Caylee Anthony Case To The Stage, Nancy Grace And All

Casey Anthony, who is currently set to stand trial in 2010 for the first-degree murder of her daughter, Caylee, will have her story told in Stephen Soderbergh's new play, "Tot Mom," which will debut this December. But should she?

Natisha Lance, writing on behalf of the Nancy Grace show, notes that Soderbergh used transcripts from Grace's program, as well as "court documents, and police reports" to create a show based on the case. Lance claims that she has "no doubt that will be a huge success," and sadly, I don't either, though I think Lance and I have different measures for success in this case.

While I'm sure Soderbergh's play will create a ton of publicity and rake in quite a few dollars, I have to say I'm not exactly sure what the point is. Anthony's story is far from over; her trial hasn't even begun. The play is being put on by the Sydney Theatre Company (which, by the way, counts Cate Blanchett as one of its artistic directors), and the Company claims that show is a "compelling drama for our sensation-hungry times." As Grace is apparently a character in the play, my guess is that the show will focus on Grace's typical mode of doing business, which, as the Company's website notes "transformed the case from a tragic story to a 24-hour news spectacle."

If the play is a commentary on how 24-hour news creates entertainment out of tragedies, I'm curious to see how Soderbergh balances his own foray into creating entertainment out of the murder of a child—even for social commentary or social psychology's sake, let's say—without coming out of this with the stench of exploitation all over the work. It's impossible to critique the play at this point; I've never read it, much less seen it, so I can't say what Soderbergh is aiming for here. I will say, however, that I find it quite sad and a bit disturbing that Grace's site is already trumpeting the play as a rousing success and victory of sorts for Grace; yes, she may have brought a great deal of attention to the case, but a child is dead, a mother is in prison for the murder. There are no winners here.

Tot Mom To Hit The Stage! [CNN]
Tot Mom [Sydney Theatre Company]