Williamstown, Mass. has become the “Woodstock” for the New York producing set. They wander the town’s streets in small clumps searching for potential product, gossip and martinis like rockers in need of another hit of LSD.
Some cough-cough “baseball musical” written by the spouse of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s producer caused barely a ripple, but the Broadway tryout of the musical version of The Bridges of Madison County drew them up here like bees to honey. And it =received spectacularly negative word of mouth. At three hours plus, the ballad-heavy tuner was called “depressingly dull” by one Tony-winning producer — “more ‘paint-drying’ than ‘barn-storming’.” And believe me, Clyde, there are plenty of barn here to storm.
Meantime, when one producer remarked that Bridges was “lovely” but in need of extensive cutting and serious rewriting, director Bartlett Sher exclaimed, “It needs to be more than lovely!” Kind of late to find that out, old boy: the New York box-office is already open. You can expect a delayed opening for sure on this one.
Then I was off to the John Drew Theater in East Hampton for Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30. I’d heard Blythe Danner was charming in the multiple roles but she’s no Gertrude Lawrence.
But who is? Who is?
Will you be spending Ethel Barrymore’s birthday next week in town or the country? She’s dying to know, you know.