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Act One - 2014 - Broadway

When the playwright and director, Moss Hart, published his autobiography, "Act One," in 1959 it was a sensation, filled with vivid recollections of colorful characters, especially Hart's first great collaborator, the brilliant George S. Kaufman.

The book gave a fascinating insider's view of how a show really gets to the stage. Many people feel it has never been bettered. "Act One" was more than just a Broadway tale, though. It was a bestseller for almost a year, topping the New York Times list for 41 weeks. Why would this story of the playwright and director's early years be so wildly and widely popular?

We think it's because "Act One" is not just the ultimate valentine to the theater. It is also a Dickensian story of a young immigrant and his family, struggling to escape poverty in the early 20th century. From tenements to glamorous townhouses, from Buffalo stages to Catskills summer camps, and finally to the Broadway of his dreams, Hart's masterful telling captures the hope, misery and comedy of the climb, but also the glee of making it - because he did! A classic New York story.

Now, almost 75 years after Moss Hart's first Broadway success, James Lapine (who knows a thing or two about collaboration from his many shows written with Stephen Sondheim) brings ACT ONE to the stage. He has written and directs this world premiere production at the Beaumont. Tony Shalhoub, playing both George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart as an adult, is familiar to LCT audiences as the father in Golden Boy for which he was nominated for a Tony Award last season. Santino Fontana (the Tony-nominated prince in Broadway's Cinderella) portrays Mr. Hart as a young man. Andrea Martin (Tony winner for her spectacular turn as Berthe in Pippin, and also for LCT's My Favorite Year) plays Aunt Kate, a pivotal figure in Hart's early life.

Schedule

Vivian Beaumont Theatre (Broadway)

(New York, NY)
150 West 65th St. at Broadway Seating Chart
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Featured Reviews For Act One


Act One - Time Out NY
In its trajectory and most memorable scenes and players, Lapine's stage adaptation of Hart's sprawling tale -- part rags-to-riches fable, part showbiz fantasy, part professional handbook -- is quite faithful and wrought with abundant skill and empathy...Less smoothly transferred from page to stage is Hart's narrative tone...But Lapine's Act One is a play, not an audiobook or TV miniseries. If this adaptation included considerably more narration, it would invite complaints of too much telling, not enough showing. So credit is due to Lapine for efffectively distilling a fast-moving memory play...Lapine has a superb cast at his disposal -- the thoroughly charming Fontana, the drolly tetchy and bilious Shalhoub, and, in a few crucial, nurturing mother-figure roles, the grace-filled Andrea Martin.

Lapine salutes Moss Hart's first act, affectionately - USA Today
Lapine's Act One (* * * out of four stars), which opened Thursday at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre, doesn't match the inspired zaniness that was Hart's ideal and trademark -- but its creator doesn't seem to be going for that. The new Broadway production is rather an appreciation, most notable for its deep affection and almost deferential reverence. To say the play lacks the complex poignance of the Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods librettist's best work wouldn't be fair; however wry Hart's humor or complicated his relationships -- with show business, his family, other people -- his Act One is a nostalgic and ultimately upbeat reflection on fulfilling a dream.


 



 

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by BWW News Desk - November 13, 2015
ACT ONE, Lincoln Center Theater's Tony Award-nominated production from last year, written and directed by James Lapine from the autobiography by Moss Hart, will air on PBS's LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER tonight, November 13, 2015 from 9 to 11:30 p.m. ET.
by BWW News Desk - October 8, 2015
ACT ONE, Lincoln Center Theater's Tony Award-nominated production from last year, written and directed by James Lapine from the autobiography by Moss Hart, will air on PBS's LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER on Friday, November 13, 2015 from 9 to 11:30 p.m. ET.
by Caryn Robbins - June 13, 2014
Tony Shalhoub stopped by last night's LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS to talk about his role in the Broadway play, 'Act One.'
by BroadwayWorld TV - June 8, 2014
As announced earlier this evening, Beowulf Boritt won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play. BroadwayWorld's own Richard Ridge was in the press room to catch up with the winner on what the award means to him - hear what Boritt had to say below!
by BWW Special Coverage - June 8, 2014
ACT ONE's Beowulf Boritt has won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play. Act One marks Boritt's LCT debut. His Broadway credits include The Scottsboro Boys (Tony nomination), Sondheim on Sondheim, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, LoveMusik, Rock of Ages, Chaplin, Bronx Bombers, Grace, The Two and Only.
by Tyler Peterson - June 5, 2014
Lincoln Center Theater's Tony Award-nominated production of ACT ONE, written and directed by James Lapine from the autobiography by Moss Hart, will be filmed for Live from Lincoln Center for an anticipated broadcast on PBS at a future date, it has just been announced. ACT ONE which is up for 5 Tony Awards this Sunday, including Best Play, runs through June 15 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
by Walter McBride - May 28, 2014
Below you can check out photos of Beowulf Boritt and Dan Moses Schreier, nominated for Best Best Scenic Design of a Play and Best Sound Design of a Play for Act One, in the BroadwayWorld.com series 'In the Spotlight' by acclaimed photographer Walter McBride!
by BroadwayWorld TV - May 12, 2014
Today we continue our Tonys coverage with Beowulf Boritt and Dan Moses Schreier, nominees for Best Best Scenic Design of a Play and Best Sound Design of a Play for Act One. Check out what they had to say below!
by Tyler Peterson - May 6, 2014
In honor of playwright Moss Hart, Lincoln Center Theater offers a "once in a lifetime" playwriting contest in conjunction with its Tony nominated play, Act One. ACT ONE, a play written and directed by James Lapine, from the autobiography by Moss Hart, is currently playing at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65th Street).
by Naomi Serviss - May 6, 2014
Martin portrays three characters in is James Lapine's adaptation of the autobiography of the theater legend Moss Hart.
by Tyler Peterson - April 28, 2014
Lincoln Center Theater's Platform Series, a forum for public discussion between Lincoln Center Theater artists and interested theatergoers, continues its 16th season on Thursday, May 8 at 6 pm with SANTINO FONTANA, ANDREA MARTIN and TONY SHALBOUB, cast members of ACT ONE, currently playing at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
by Michael Dale - April 18, 2014
James Lapine's adaptation of Moss Hart's classic autobiography is a love letter to Broadway.
by Walter McBride - April 18, 2014
The Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Andre Bishop) production of Act One, a play written and directed by James Lapine from the autobiography by Moss Hart, just opened last night, April 17, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. The cast features Bob Ari, Bill Army, Will Brill, Laurel Casillo, Chuck Cooper, Santino Fontana, Steven Kaplan, Will LeBow, Mimi Lieber,Charlotte Maier, Noah Marlowe, Andrea Martin, Greg McFadden, Deborah Offner, Lance Roberts,Matthew Saldivar, Matthew Schechter, Tony Shalhoub, Jonathan Spivey, Wendy Rich Stetson, Bob Stillman and Amy Warren. BroadwayWorld was there for the special night and you can check out photos from the after party below!
by Review Roundups - April 17, 2014
The Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Andre Bishop) production of Act One, a play written and directed by James Lapine from the autobiography by Moss Hart, opens tonight, April 17, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Let's see what the critics had to say...
by BroadwayWorld TV - April 15, 2014
The Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Andre Bishop) production of Act One, a play written and directed by James Lapine from the autobiography by Moss Hart, is currently in previews at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. The cast features Bob Ari, Bill Army, Will Brill, Laurel Casillo, Chuck Cooper, Santino Fontana, Steven Kaplan, Will LeBow, Mimi Lieber, Charlotte Maier, Noah Marlowe, Andrea Martin, Greg McFadden, Deborah Offner, Lance Roberts, Matthew Saldivar, Matthew Schechter, Tony Shalhoub, Jonathan Spivey, Wendy Rich Stetson, Bob Stillman and Amy Warren. Act One will open on Thursday, April 17. BroadwayWorld brings you highlights of the cast in action below!