ON THE AISLE
RABBIT, RUN: Quite a lapin agile Steve Martin is making of himself these days, scampering about the city, disposing plays hither and yon--first "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" at the Promenade on Upper West Side, then "WASP and Other Plays" at The Public downtown--and, somewhere in the middle (incongruously, at The Copacabana), "The Arrival of Godot," starring Nathan Lane, Rosie O'Donnell, Roger Rees and Bill Irwin.
That's right: "Godot" came, and you missed him.
Only a Name-studded fraction of the theatre community caught this one-night-only run at the New York Stage and Film benefit. A sendup of the Beckett classic Martin 'n' Irwin did at Lincoln Center in '88 with Robin Williams and F. Murray Abraham, it was just a little something Martin quick-sketched expressly for the gala--a love offering, if you will, for having spent his past two summers on the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie (in space provided by New York Stage and Film) workshopping both acts of his Public work. Nicky Silver's "Raised in Captivity," John Patrick Shanley's "Savage in Limbo," Teresa Rebeck's "Spiked Heels" and Jon Robin Baitz's "Three Hotels" led the way. Jon and John both Copa-ed, along with Ethan Hawke, Dana Delany, Tony winner Jane Adams, James Lapine (who was flexing his "Muscle" in workshop at the time but still found time to direct the "Godot" spoof), Nora Ephron, Wendy Wasserstein, Rob Morrow (with a mystery date he'd just identify as "Debonair"), director Joe Mantello, Jonathan Marc Sherman, "The Shuberts" and Mark Linn-Baker (who, along with Leslie Urdang and Max Mayer, founded the company).
Peter Manning is now preparing its 12th season. In two years of producing there, he has done Eric Overmeyer's "Dark Rapture," Shanley's "The Fool and Her Fortune," screenwriter-director Paul Schrader's The Cleopatra Club, actor David Marshall Grant's "Snakebit," Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley's "Revelers" and Tom Donaghy's "Minutes From the Blue Route." Soooo, the evening's proceeds should come in handy--as will the $50,000 Jujamcyn Theatres Award presented by Virginia and James H. Binger and Rocco Landesman.
-- By Harry Haun