Harvey's Broadway Blog: First Preview Done
Welcome to the debut of a very special new series on BroadwayWorld.com - four time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein's personal MySpace blog of bringing his brand new musical, A CATERED AFFAIR to Broadway. We'll be exclusively picking up Harvey Fierstein's blog as he shares his first hand reports from rehearsals, to out-of-town tryouts to Opening Night (and beyond). A CATERED AFFAIR also features a score by John Bucchino and is being directed by Tony Award-winner John Doyle. Prior to Broadway, the new musical will play at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre beginning September 20th and then hit the Great White Way at the Walter Kerr Theatre with previews beginning on begin March 25. The cast includes Broadway favorites Faith Prince, Tom Wopat, Harvey Fierstein, Leslie Kritzer and Matt Cavenaugh. Group tickets for the show are now on sale...
FIRST PREVIEW DONE...
AND I'M STILL ALIVE!!!
Well, kids, we did it! Our first preview of our brand new baby A Catered Affair was performed tonight at the historic Old Globe Theater in sunny San Diego and I am happy to report that I THINK we've got ourselves a real crowd pleaser.
From the opening moments when the stage magically comes alive, to the final ensemble song, we onstage felt like the audience was almost pulling the words out of our mouths and devouring them. From curtain to curtain you could barely hear the full house breathe. They laughed at every joke, they nodded and sighed with recognition for every character, and they cried along with us like old friends lending a shoulder for our troubles. In fact, that's probably the best way to describe the reaction from this first preview audience; like old friends who'd come for a visit, to spend the evening, and share some memories with us. It was thrilling.
As a playwright I could not have been happier. There didn't seem to be a bum line or wasted word. The actors, under the inspiring leadership of Mr. John Doyle, took the stage and told their story with true simplicity and conviction. They were just wonderful. Faith Prince and Leslie Kritzer were revelations. I've never seen them like this.
And Tom Wopat was so vulnerable and real and powerful. Phillip Hoffman & Lori Wilner & Kristine Zbornik & Heather MacRae & Katie Klaus were all so on the money with every choice they made. And then there was that Matt Cavenaugh. Well, I don't think there was a person in the audience that didn't want to be engaged to him! (or maybe even BE him) What a charmer. And then that Fiersetein fella...? Well, there's always one rotten apple in the barrel! What are you going to do?
And the orchestra played their hearts out as well. Even with some brand new orchestrations to tackle.
Of course despite all the wonderful reaction we got tonight we still have work we want to do. This was, after all, just the first preview of an out of town try-out. We hit that rehearsal room again tomorrow to sharpen and better. But all in all, I am one thrilled man tonight. I am grateful that this piece seems to have hit the right chord with the audience and have every expectation that from here on each improvement will only take us further toward our goal of arriving in New York with a brand new musical that we can all be proud to have created. What the critics will say....? Well, who can predict what critics will say ? But what audiences say is what I care about right now. And tonight they said, "WE LOVE A CATERED AFFAIR!" They said it with laughter, tears and a full standing ovation. And we are grateful.
So, now... some backstage photos for you....
PHILLIP HOFFMAN and KATIE KLAUS enjoying the Old Globe green room.
The ORCHESTRA takes the pit.
TRACY and HEATHER see to every detail of the production!
Designer DAVID GALLO hiding in the dark theater with associate JOSH ZANGEN.
KRISTINE and LESLIE having some R&R on Coronado Island.
FAITH at rehearsal.
Producer JORDAN ROTH clowning with general manager AARON LUSTBADER
AND finally genius lighting designer BRIAN MACDEVITT with sound techie ASHER.
So, that's my report for you. I'm certain, as the week progresses, there will be lots more to share. so... KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED FOR US AND...