September 1996 NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: And Christian Camargo, 18, got it on the first bounce. One month out of Juilliard, he won the son role in David Hare's Olivier Award-winning Skylight, which director Richard Eyre has installed in the Royale Theatre. For what it's worth, Christian, the rest of the cast has never been on Broadway before, either. Michael Gambon and Lia Williams will be reprising their award-contending performance for us "Yanks." . . . Brian Stokes Mitchell, Peter Friedman, two-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie, Steven Sutcliffe, Lynette Perry, Camille Saviola, John Corti and 50 other cast members broke into Ragtime rehearsals Sept. 9. The musical epic will world premiere in Toronto Dec. 8 and will reach Broadway next spring. . . . Director Michael Blakemore, after huddling with his City of Angels composer (Cy Coleman) about their next Broadway show, flew to Paris to see his daughter on TWA Flight 800 the day before that TWA tragedy. The name of the new show is The Life.
NO JOSHING: That short-lived Stephen Sondheim-George Furth mystery Getting Away with Murder (which didn't) featured personifications of the seven deadly sins, so it didn't surprise many people that Josh Mostel was cast as Gluttony. What did surprise folks was that he had to play the part in a fat suit, having just shed 100 pounds through arduous exercise. "It's great to take it off after every performance," he beams. . . . Fat suits are becoming all the rage on Broadway. Tony-nominated Martin Shaw sports a natty pear-shaped number in An Ideal Husband. According to his bio, among the roles he is best known for back home in Britain are Stanley Kowalski and Elvis. . . . Another Tony nominee requiring special padding is Lewis J. Stadlen, the deliciously salacious Senex of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. . . . Forum's major-domo/raisone d'etre/Tony winner, Nathan Lane, reigns supreme over this musical comedy. The funny thing that happened to him on the way to Forum was fame, via the Mike Nichols movie The Birdcage. Once sprung from that, he went directly into his Mostel mode, playing roles originated by Mostel fils et pere: son Josh's in the TV-movie version of The Boys Next Door and papa Zero's in Broadway's third Forum.
-- By Harry Haun