Really enjoyed Richard Greenberg's very smart drawing room comedy THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES which contains style, wit and charm in abundance. The two acts are spaced twenty years apart and set in a fourteen room Manhattan apartment most of which we see on a revolving stage. Jessica Hecht as a moderately successful ex-teenage movie starlet from the sixties is giving a somewhat stylized performance which has divided some people but I decided she was channelling June Harding from THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS which made perfect sense to me. And Judith Light is once again faultless. So thrilling that a tv sitcom star can have a career renaissance as a very fine theatre actress, garnering Tony nominations on every Broadway outing. Jeremy Shamos is also touching in the less flashy role of a family friend who becomes indespensable to the two women.
Took myself on a whim to finally see SILENCE-THE MUSICAL based, of course, on SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. I was curious to see Sean McDermott who was brought to Australia some years ago to play Tony in WEST SIDE STORY opposite Marina Prior and Todd McKenney.
Sean was truly hilarious as Hannibal Lecter, his performance pitched somewhere between Anthony Hopkins and Eartha Kitt.
I also wanted to lend support to my mates Kevin Spirtas, a producer of the Broadway PRISCILLA, making his debut as Dr. Chiltern
and Tyler Maynard as various characters, all of them outrageous. Tyler was in the reading of PAGEANT with me. Both chaps were a bit shocked that I chose to attend their very first performance but it was a spur of the moment decision.
I had just returned home when Nick Adams called with his own spur of the moment inspiration. Let's catch the train to Millburn, New Jersey and see the Paper Mill production of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE! I'd not seen the show and the film is a great favourite of mine so I turned around and headed straight back to Penn Station. We only just found seats on the PACKED peak hour train but had time to enjoy a quick (wildly expensive) meal at the the restaurant adjoining the theatre and settled in for the show. The piece itself is a bit of a mess and its Broadway success was apparently reliant on the star wattage of Sutton Foster and Gavin Creel because the flaws were exposed in this staging but there was fun to be had.
When Mum and I saw CHICAGO on Broadway back in '76 Chita Rivera had left the production and her replacement was the unknown Lenora Nemetz whose work we loved. Apart from introducing "It's an Art" in WORKING a couple of years later, most of Nemetz's subsequent work happened outside of New York (although her name turns up as part of a song lyric in NUNSENSE which assures her a measure of immortality). so it was a treat to see her strutting her stuff as Mrs. Meers all these years later in MILLIE.