The fall television season is ramping up and as Will & Grace is prepping for reboot Season 2 (really the 10th season) of the NBC hit sitcom, and what we know so far is love is in the air for EVERYBODY:
• Will is the lucky guy who will get a new boyfriend in the form of hunky Matt Bomer who’s character is described as “a smooth-talking, self-satisfied TV news anchor. #Squee!
• Chelsea Handler is set to play a high-powered lesbian client of Grace who begins to date her sister.
A post shared by Debra Messing (@therealdebramessing) on Aug 14, 2018 at 7:24pm PDT
• Taking romance to another level is Jack who announced last season he planned on getting hitched to new boyfriend Estefan (Brian Jordan Alvarez).
• AND, Grace’s father (Martin Adler) and Will’s mother (the deliciously delightful Blythe Danner) shared their own plans to stroll down the aisle, which would effectively make besties Grace and Will sister and brother (awkward?).
• More guest stars! Self-declared “America’s sweetheart” and out Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon continues conquering hearts and minds as he’s set to cameo as a – you guessed it – figure skater.
Day Three of the Artist’s Challenge (For 5 days, 1 post each day, 1pic or several pics or video of your artistic journey so far. Each day nominate 2 people to join).
I had auditioned for the 2001 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s FOLLIES (choreographed by Kathleen Marshall), but after a few cuts, it was clear it wasn’t my day. It happens. Not meant to be, right?
A few months later, I was working at Walnut Street Theatre dance captaining A Chorus Line. The Friday before we were to open, another Kathleen Marshall show on Bway – SEUSSICAL – offered me a contract to replace Darren Lee who was leaving. I knew the show wasn’t doing great at the box office, so I asked how long the powers that be thought the show would run. The answer – “we wouldn’t be hiring you if we didn’t know the show was going to run.”
So for the first time in my career, I gave notice at Walnut Street. Five days later, the closing notice went up at SEUSSICAL. My replacement had been hired already at Walnut Street and so I headed back to NYC unemployed and despondent.
A week after getting back to NYC, I received a call from folks in casting at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Out of the blue. One of the guys in FOLLIES had given his notice and Kathleen Marshall had told them (knowing I got the short end over at SEUSSICAL) that if the costumes fit, the job was mine. I was two blocks from the Belasco Theater. I RAN straight there. And the costumes fit. Squeeee!!!
And so, I ended up in a beautiful, magnificent show with a cast that was equally special. And they took me in as if I’d been there all along. My run was only 2 months with the show, but the experience and the cast have stayed close to my heart.
We closed on my birthday which I shared with the fabulous (and Tony Award-nominated) Polly Bergen. Her performance of “I’m Still Here” KILLED. My work in Act One was done by the time her number came, and I would work through the basement and stand in the back of the house several times each week to watch her powerhouse performance.
So, there you go. I was wrong. FOLLIES was meant to be. I just took a while to get there.
My FOLLIES family gathers again this week to honor dear Polly, who we lost last year. I love this cast. They always feel like family to me.
No pics of me in the show since I replaced. But you have to watch Polly knock it out of the park with her number below.
Closing night of FOLLIES on Broadway with Polly Bergen
Reviews for the newly opened Donald Margulies’ play The Country House are – as expected – quite robust for the production’s leading lady, Blythe Danner.
Regular readers will recall that I’m a huge fan of the luminous Ms. Danner’s work, and have been for years. I was fortunate to work with her in the 2001 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and have remained friends since then.
The Country House, under the auspices of the Manhattan Theatre Club, opened last night on Broadway to strong reviews, especially for Danner.
“The most satisfying and exasperating aspect of “The Country House” is Ms. Danner’s performance.
“Watch Ms. Danner after Anna fails to seduce a handsome, younger houseguest. She deflates and then majestically reinflates, like someone who suddenly remembers that she is, after all, in front of an audience. Anna may describe herself as “a leading lady without a stage,” but that’s nonsense. With Ms. Danner in the role, all the world is Anna’s stage.”
“(Author) Donald Margulies gets a big, sloppy kiss from leading lady Blythe Danner, who is effortlessly lovely and irresistibly charismatic as the queenly head of a fractious theatrical family in his new play, “The Country House.””
Danner’s Anna is a model of rumpled dignity and vanity, at once blowsy and elegant in her fashion. “I am not one whose entrances go unnoticed,” she tells Susie early on. Yet House is at its funniest and most poignant when Anna comes to terms — or doesn’t — with her fading powers, and the ephemerality of life. Her daughter’s absence is, of course, a stinging reminder of the latter, and Danner makes that pain clear, even while delivering a wonderfully relaxed comedic performance.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies (Time Stands Still, Sight Unseen) returns to Broadway with THE COUNTRY HOUSE, his tenth MTC production.
Via press release:
Tony and Emmy winner Blythe Danner (The Commons of Pensacola, Meet the Parents) stars as Anna Patterson, the matriarch of a brood of famous and longing-to-be-famous creative artists who have gathered at their Berkshires summerhouse during the Williamstown Theatre Festival. But when the weekend takes an unexpected turn, everyone is forced to improvise… inciting a series of simmering jealousies, romantic outbursts and passionate soul-searching.
Excellent news for theater-goers in Los Angeles and in New York City, via LA Times:
Blythe Danner will return to Broadway in the new Donald Margulies play “The Country House,” which is scheduled to open Oct. 2 in a production by the Manhattan Theater Club. But before bowing in New York, Danner and the play will open at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles for a month-long run starting in June.
As previously announced, “The Country House,” directed by Daniel Sullivan, is set to open at the Geffen on June 11. (The staging will be a co-production between the Geffen and MTC.)
As regular readers of The Randy Report know, I was fortunate to get to know Blythe while appearing on Broadway with her in the first revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. The entire cast was a big family and I’ve stayed in contact with Blythe since. She’s as charming and wonderful a person as you would hope, and her talent continues to know no bounds. (By the way – Tony Award nomination for that performance. Just saying…).
This current theater season, I saw Blythe’s fantastic performance in “The Commons of Pensacola” with Sarah Jessica Parker at the Manhattan Theater Club. Great, great play (which I still think should be brought to Broadway for a longer run), and exquisite performances – especially from Blythe.
I will definitely be seeing “The Country House” in LA. Maybe I can get some Follies alum to join me at the same performance…?
To celebrate my husband Michael’s birthday, we saw the terrific new play by Amanda Peet – “The Commons of Pensacola” – starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
My one word review would be “GO!”
Artfully crafted, this stunning debut play by Amanda Peet is deceptively complex. Based loosely around the “idea” of what Bernie Madoff’s family may have experienced after he stole billions from investors, this play isn’t about the money but the dynamic of betrayal in a family stuck in dysfunction.
Blythe Danner is, not surprisingly, fantastic in the role of mother
“Judith.” Blythe’s talent never disappoints. Like all of her work, her
performance was layered with charm, nuance, an informing sense of physicality,
intelligence and an innate vulnerability.
And Sarah Jessica Parker brings both light and dark to the
role of “Becca.” She is both penetrating and poignant as she questions the family around her. The entire cast is very strong, handling the delicate material
At one point, four of the lead characters find themselves in the same room facing betrayal – but four different betrayals. Director Lynne Meadow guides the play with a deft hand, unfolding the story in a manner that begins light-hearted and soon comes to bear on the drama underneath.
Excellent work was also on display by lighting designer by Jason Lyons, whose design was sensitive and fluid.
We were lucky that an audience “talk-back” was scheduled after the performance, so we stayed and listened to the cast elaborate on their own approach to the material and questions by the audience on their thoughts and opinions. Really insightful and interesting to hear both sides of a “theater equation” takes away from the experience.
I was fortunate to work with Blythe in the first Broadway revival of
Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” in 2001. I was already a big fan of her
work, and loved watching her Tony Award nominated performance up close.
We’ve stayed in touch over the years and I knew I couldn’t miss this
Afterward, Blythe was great to take a few minutes (on a two show day already!) to chat and wish Michael ‘happy birthday.’
The play is only scheduled to run through January 26, 2014. Considering the excellent reviews and the strong box office, I’m hoping the play moves to Broadway for an open-ended run. The cast, director, playwright and story all deserve to be seen.
Tony Award & two-time Emmy Award winner Blythe Danner (Huff), Madeline Zima (Californication) and Sarah Bolger (The Tudors) have joined Shonda Rhimes’ period drama pilot Gilded Lillys.
Written by KJ Steinberg (Gossip Girl, The Nine) and set in 1895, Lillys follows the opening of the first true luxury hotel built in New York City, along with the family who owns it, the staff who work it and those who stay there.
Danner will play Caroline, the ruthless and wickedly funny widowed grandmother. Bolger will play Violet, the virginal, beautiful and rebellious daughter who has a devoted personal maid Abigail (Zima).
Rhimes has a long-standing relationship with the network whose collaborations include Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and the upcoming drama Scandal.
I was so lucky to work with Blythe in the Broadway revival of FOLLIES in 2001. I had been a fan of her work for so long, so it was fantastic not only to be onstage with her, but offstage as well.
Blythe is warm, funny, down to earth and a true artist. Seeing her again at the 10 year FOLLIES reunion was a high point for me for 2011. We saw each other across the room, and like old friends, enjoyed a warm, sincere hug. I spent much of the evening sitting with her, and the entire cast, remembering the amazing camaraderie we all shared at the Belasco Theater.
I can’t say enough great things about her. I celebrate her birthday and think my best thoughts that she have a fabulous day. And year ahead.
With Blythe at the 10 year reunion of FOLLIES Broadway revival