Harvey's Broadway Blog: Previews Continue and I Need To Lie Down

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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!

I THINK I AM GETTING TOO OLD FOR PREVIEWING A BRAND NEW SHOW!

I had totally forgotten how much work was involved. It ain't just the daily rehearsals to tweak and shape and fine-tune a show, but there are photo shoots and interviews and B-roll footage to get. YIKES! It's all very busy making, I can tell you. The saving grace, I must say, is that our cast is so fun to hang out with that I almost don't mind the endless hours we are spending in the theater.

So this week we performed SEVEN PREVIEWS, FOUR ALL AFTERNOON REHEARSALS, SHOT PUBLICITY PHOTOS, SHOT B-ROLL FOR TV COVERAGE, PERFORMED AT A NEW YORK TIMES TALK, HOSTED A "TALK-BACK" WITH SENIOR CITIZEN GAYS AND LESBIANS WHO HAD LIVED THROUGH THE PERIOD OUR SHOW DRAMATIZES, and APPEARED WITH Michael Riedel ON HIS "THEATER TALK" SHOW.

How's that for a week?

PREVIEW PERFORMANCES:

They've been going great. The audiences have been most embracing of this new creation we are presenting. The comments at the stage door each night, the letters from folks who have seen the show, the tears and hugs from backstage visitors all tell the tale of an audience being surprised and enthralled with our offering. The words I hear most often are: A JEWEL, A WORK OF ART, AN INTIMATE LOOK AT THE HUMAN HEART... Like I said, it's most encouraging. But, let me also say that there have been a several folks who've watched the show in utter bewilderment. I think they thought they'd be seeing the musical of "FATHER OF THE BRIDE" and wound up with something, as Monty Python would say, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

So, while I am grateful and delighted with all of the people who have embraced our efforts, I do feel for those who have not. I think as word gets out about what the show actually is the audience will arrive prepared, hankies in hand, and ready to take the ride with us.

All this said, I couldn't be prouder of what we're accomplishing. How many set out to create a redefining theatrical event and actually manage to pull it off? WHAT A RIDE!!!

PHOTOS - So, here are some photos from the week for you to enjoy...



Nothing like the day to day rehearsals during previews. Here we are re-teching a lighting cue. With artists like Brian Mac Devitt on the case, perfection is a daily goal.



In a lighter moment, Faith Prince hoofs to pass the time while waiting for a scene to begin.



I took this as we prepared to film a scene for TV coverage. That's Philip Hoffman shooting me shooting him.



And here's the other side of that dinner table with MATT & LESLIE.



I was truly moved by the TIMES TALK event where scenes from several of my plays were read by a bevy of unbelievable talent. Here is a group shot. Left to right we have: ELI GONDA, Brooks Ashmanskas, Edie Falco, Matt Cavenaugh, John Bucchino, Faith Prince, ME, Dick Latessa and NY Times writer JESSE GREEN.



Backstage before the event with Dick Latessa, Edie Falco & Richie Jackson.



ELI GONDA helped out with a little direction to keep us all in line. Here he is with BROOKS who takes NO DIRECTION! What a great guy.



And here is reporter AUBREY RUEBEN swiping cookies from the treats set out for the actors.



Ever wonder what the view is when you're a guest on THEATER TALK? Well, kids, this is it. Here's SUSAN HASKINS and her legendary co-host Michael Riedel readying to interview me. FYI - the show airs this coming FRIDAY on PBS.



Judith Light showed up on my dressing room door having caught a performance this week. She was simply adorable as she kept bursting out in tears when discussing the show. What a doll! Other celebs spotted this week were Bill Murray and...



...Ann Hampton Callaway.



And here are a few shots of us just messing around backstage while readying for our performances. This is HEATHER with a gang...



And here's LESLIE fooling around with Press Rep JERRON...



And finally here is LORI posing alongside the marrionette bride in my dressing room.

NEXT WEEK:

This coming week is also going to be a killer for us. Tomorrow morning I am appearing on THE TODAY SHOW to welcome KATHY LEE GIFFORD back to daytime TV.

I should be on around 10:10 for an interview and then back before 11 to sing a song from A Catered Affair. So tune in if you can.

After that we are off to the recording studio to make the CD of A Catered Affair!!!!

And then we will perform as usual in the evening.

Long day? That's life in the theater!

So watch me on THE TODAY SHOW

Watch me on THEATER TALK

And if you want to know how it all goes....

....STAY TUNED!!!!

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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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