THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -- February 1998
BROADWAY DOCUMENTED: The process of putting a show on Broadway has been the subject of many a backstage movie from 42nd Street on but the subject has never been treated by documentary cameras. Till now. This month, New York's Film Forum will premiere Moon Over Broadway, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus's nitty-gritty look at the making and/or breaking of a Broadway play in this case Moon Over Buffalo, the Ken Ludwig comedy that returned Carol Burnett to Broadway in the winter of 1995-1996. . . . Anthony Rapp, who wielded the camcorder in the original company of Rent, keeps up that kind of jittery cinematics in a poignant slice-of-gay-life written, produced and directed by Leslie Smith, entitled David Searching. In support is an unbroken line of solid N.Y.C. actors: Camryn Manheim, Julie Halston, John Cameron Mitchell, Kathleen Chalfant, David Drake plus Tony winners Michael Rupert and Stephen Spinella. . . . Back Stage managing editor and Drama Desk president David Sheward has somehow found the time to pull together for Watson-Guptill Publications The Big Book of Show Business Awards. "Big" is understating the case. Anyone with an interest in entertainment prizes will find this an indispensable reference source. . . . While MGM still sits on The Fantasticks two years after director Michael Ritchie finished filming it, a bootleg print is making the rounds of film-and-theatre buffs. Their verdict: it's eminently re-leasable. . . . Directing his own screenplay, David Mamet peppered The Spanish Prisoner with regulars of the Atlantic Theater Company that he founded: Clark Gregg, Felicity Huffman, Jordan Lage, Rebecca Pidgeon (Mrs. Mamet), Neil Pepe and Mary McCann.
THE SECOND COMING OF TRICKY RICKY: Illusionist-turning-actor Ricky Jay, who has a role in The Spanish Prisoner and another in Tomorrow Never Dies, is doing a second sellout gig at Second Stage. The show is called Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants (i.e., him and a deck of playing cards). . . . Faye Dunaway has sown up the film rights to Terrence McNally's Tony-winning portrait of the post-Onassis Maria Callas, Master Class. She toured with it but didn't get to do it on Broadway . . . . Wings of the Dove, the Henry James novel that swept a host of Best Actress prizes Helena Bonham Carter's way, had an earlier life as a Broadway play (Child of Fortune). Produced and directed by Jed Harris and adapted by Guy Bolton, it ran for 23 performances in the mid-50's. Betsy von Furstenberg and Edmund Purdom starred.
-- By Harry Haun