Postcard from the Straw Hat Trail #2

0
1
Weeping? Photo by T. Charles Erickson.
Seeing the musical forest through the tree: the set of The Bridges of Madison County (the musical) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Photo by T. Charles  Erickson.
Forest for the tree: the set of The Bridges of Madison County (the musical) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Dear Clyde,

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.

Story continues below.



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.

Toodles, A.

SHARE
More from CFRWhen Arts Advocates Yield Just 2,300 Emails, This Happens
More from CFRThrough the Wormhole into 2016
Addison DeWitt

Addison De Witt lives in the Theater as a Trappist monk lives in his faith. He has no other world, no other life. His native habitat is the Theater; in it he toils not, neither does he spin. He is a critic and commentator. He is essential to the Theater. Once in a great while, he experiences that moment of Revelation for which all true believers wait and pray: Theater that is full of meaning, fire and music!