Harvey's Broadway Blog: Here Comes The Judge!

Harvey Returns! Welcome to The Return of 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 Opening Night (and beyond). Check back for updates as rehearsals get underway!

PREVIEWS... for all intents and purposes... ARE OVER!!!!

Although we don't open officially until Thursday night, the show has been frozen, (which means there are no more changes to the script, the physical production or the score). This is done a week before opening because critics no longer come on opening nights as they do in London or as they used to do on Broadway. Critics now have a whole mess of performances that they can attend so that they don't have to rush the composing of their reviews. SO... as you may have already guessed... the critics have begun to view our show. AND WE HAVE BEGUN TO AWAIT THEIR REVIEWS. Ah, the Broadway Tango!

I have to admit that I'm thrilled to be done with previews. Not that I mind rehearsing and trying new things. But sometimes, whether out of boredom or over-confidence, things get a little too playful in rehearsal and the show can suffer. After a day of work where our fearless leader, aka director, asked us to do some acting exercises with the piece, we went out onstage and damn near bent the show completely out of shape. I swear, it was absolutely amazing how, without changing a word or song or lighting cue, the entire show that we've been so proud of just simply FELL FLAT ON IT'S FACE. And that was just from adjusting the pace, the volume and the intensity. And I, of course, felt so badly for the audience who sat in puzzlement through this performance. Once again I had to remind myself that they knew when they bought their tickets that they were seeing a PREVIEW and not a finished performance. I just wish they hadn't seen THAT preview! But by next day we'd scrapped all that experimentation and were back on our game. And now THE SHOW IS FROZEN so no more of that. PERIOD.

THE TODAY SHOW

So, my week started off with a bang. Because I had sung to Katie Couric on her last day at THE TODAY SHOW I was asked if I would come on and sing to KATHY LEE GIFFORD on her first day at THE TODAY SHOW. How could I say no? So I trudged over to 30 ROCK at some ungodly hour and sang CONEY ISLAND from A Catered Affair to her. While I did have fun, it seemed a bit disorganized over there. Hopefully a few days of work has shaken the bugs out of their panties and the show is running smoothly.

 

Here I am in the studio readying to sing. That's the fabulous DEB ABRAMSON at the piano ready to play for me.


And here I am with KATHY LEE herself. What a doll. She said that she is going to see a Broadway show every Wednesday and then report about it on Thursday. I hope she keeps her word. It would be great for us all.



And here I am engulfed by ANTI-GRAVITY who also appeared on the show that morning. Do I look like I'm suffering?



And what's a celeb without a posse? Here's mine: BRUCE GLIKAS of BROADWAY.COM and my press agent Rick Miramontez.

RECORDING THE CD

After THE TODAY SHOW I was shuttled over to the recording studio where we all gathered behind mics with our orchestra and recorded the ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST ALBUM OF A Catered Affair! I believe they are doing a real rush job on it and will have it available for purchase on May 12th. I'm sure I'll keep you updated on that.



Tom Wopat is seen here taking a breather with our PSM Adam Hunter.



And here's JONATHON TUNIK enjoying the sound of the music he makes being played back for him.



Faith Prince and Leslie Kritzer shared the mics and a quiet moment between takes.



And here's KRITZER again, but this time with Matt Cavenaugh.

BACK AT THE THEATER...

...it's becoming obvious that my dressing room is A SOCIAL CENTER. Our theater has no green room or common space, so everyone seems to gravitate toward my room. I'm not sure if it's my personality or proximity to the bathroom that brings everyone by, and I ain't asking!


Katie Klaus has a bit of a fainting spell on my fainting couch.



PA extraordinaire, SPENSER, stops by to model a new hair-don't.




ZBORNIK drops in to share...? What does it look like she's sharing????



Stage crew CHRIS & TIM had to stop in to see how things were going.



Is this any way to get notes from a stage manager? By the way... BIG CONGRATS TO ADAM AND HIS WIFE ON THE BIRTH OF THEIR NEW DAUGHTER TODAY... IDA MAE... WELCOME TO THE COMPANY!!!!



Lighting genius BRIAN MAC DEVITT comes by to say HI and gets a special greeting from KRITZER.



And finally, here is my dresser KEITH SHAW showing how he keeps us all in a great mood during the long days and nights leading up to opening.

OPENING NIGHT

Well, the show is frozen.
The opening night gifts are wrapped.
The cards are getting written.
The critics are coming to see the show.
And I am scared, but ready,

So if you want to know how it all comes out....

STAY TUNED!!!! AND KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED FOR US!!!!

 

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Harvey Fierstein Harvey Fierstein is the author of Torch Song Trilogy, for which he received Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor. He is also the recipient of the Tony Award for his book of the musical La Cage Aux Folles. His other plays include Safe Sex, Spookhouse and Forget Him. Harvey's most recent Broadway credits include starring as Tevye in the record-breaking revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, for which he won his fourth Tony Award (Best Actor in a Musical). Other honors include three Drama Desk Awards, the Drama League Award, the New York Magazine Award, a special Obie, Theater World and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards. He has also been nominated for an Emmy ("Cheers" guest star), American Comedy Award (Mrs. Doubtfire) and London's Olivier Award (Torch Song Trilogy). Harvey won the Humanitas Award in 2000 for writing the HBO animated special "The Sissy Duckling," which is also published as a children's book. Fierstein has also appeared in numerous film and television productions.


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