Extra, Extra! Top 30 Critics from Across the Country to Attend THE FRONT PAGE's Opening Tonight
Read all about it! The Front Page, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's classic 1928 comedy set in the world of the Chicago newspaper business, will have its official opening performance tonight at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 W. 44th Street).
Along with the slew of expected boldfaced names from the worlds of theater, film, television, and media, the opening night audience will also include the top thirty theater critics from around the country.
The tradition of having critics attend and review the opening night performance, which went out of fashion in the 1970s, is being revived for this one-night-only as an homage to the glory days of print media, during which time The Front Page is set. An especially early curtain time of 5:30 p.m. has been set to allow the critics extra time to write and file their reviews.
The production has emerged as the first bonafide hit of the season, playing to sold-out audiences nightly, and enjoying weekly grosses well past the million-dollar-mark. The Front Page began previews on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, and this strictly limited engagement will play through Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 W. 44th Street).
Directed by three-time Tony Award-winner Jack O'Brien, The Front Page features one of the most astonishing ensembles ever assembled for the Broadway stage, including Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Holland Taylor, Sherie Rene Scott, and Robert Morse, along with Dylan Baker, Patricia Conolly, Halley Feiffer, Dann Florek, John Magaro, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Christopher McDonald, David Pittu, Joey Slotnick, Lewis J. Stadlen, Micah Stock, and Clarke Thorell.
The press room of Chicago's Criminal Courts Building is buzzing with reporters covering the story of an escaped prisoner. When star reporter Hildy Johnson (Slattery) accidentally discovers the runaway convict, he and his editor Walter Burns (Lane) conspire to hide the man from the other reporters, while they chase the biggest scoop of their careers.
The Front Page premiered on August 14, 1928 at the Times Square Theatre, in a production staged by George S. Kaufman. The play was heralded for its rapid-fire dialogue written by former newspapermen Hecht and MacArthur, and was one of four stunning and unprecedented hits in a row in the early career of its producer, the legendary JEd Harris.
Often cited as the greatest play ever written about the newspaper business, The Front Page has also been a hit on screen. A 1931 film version starred Adolphe Menjou as Walter Burns and Pat O'Brien as Hildy Johnson. The 1940 film adaptation, His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant as Walter Burns and Rosalind Russell as a now-female Hildy Johnson, is considered one of the classics of the screwball comedy genre, and in 1993 was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.
The Front Page is produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Len Blavatnik, Peter May, The John Gore Organization, Eric Falkenstein, Seth A. Goldstein, The Araca Group, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Scott M. Delman, Ruth Hendel, Heni Koenigsberg, Jon B. Platt, Daryl Roth, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Stephanie P. McClelland, True Love Productions, Jane Bérgere, Wendy Federman, Anita Waxman, Meredith Lynsey Schade, Jamie deRoy, Al Nocciolino, and Spring Sirkin. Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, and John Johnson serve as Executive Producers.