With Ron Swanson, the iconic character he played on Parks and Recreation, now behind him, Nick Offerman will take on a legendary literary creation. Offerman will star as Ignatius J. Reilly in a stage adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces, which will run from Nov. 11 through Dec. 13 at the Huntington Theatre Company’s BU Theatre in Boston, the Huntington Theatre Company announced.
The New Orleans-set picaresque novel, about the overweight Ignatius who lives with his mother, has been adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher, and the production will be directed by David Esbjornson.
“Adapting John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces into a play has been like wrestling Ignatius Reilly to the stage,” Hatcher said in a statement. “The book is famously a picaresque, episodic and digressive, but the digressions are often the point. What I think we’ve arrived at is a play that focuses on the characters – Ignatius, his mother Mrs. Reilly, Burma Jones, Myrna Minkoff—without losing any of the book’s color and atmosphere and humor.”
Offerman starred in an industry reading of the play last year.
A Confederacy of Dunces has long been a target for a film adaptation, but is legendary for the fact that it has never been made, despite a number of big names attached to it over the years. One of those attached? Steven Soderbergh, listed as a developmental partner in this stage production, who told Vulture in 2013, “that project has bad mojo on it.”