Include him in.
Actor-comedian Alan King spent last summer in Poughkeepsie, NY, playing legendary film producer Samuel Goldwyn, and now he's spending the winter (at least) in New York City doing the same thing.
Mr. Goldwyn, by Marsha Lebby and John Lollos, began previews at the Promenade Theatre on Feb. 26 and opens March 13. Gene Saks, shepherd of so many Neil Simon works, directs. Lauren Klein (Lost in Yonkers, Broken Glass) plays Goldwyn's secretary, Helen, occasionally interrupting and serving as the de-facto "straight man" to King's yeasty Goldwyn. The play is presented by the Manhattan Project, Ltd., and Emma Luke Productions, LLC, in association with Michael Gardner.
King starred in the world premiere of Mr. Goldwyn for New York Stage and Film, at the Powerhouse Theatre on the Vassar College campus in July and August 2001. Saks directed there as well.
Sam Goldwyn — nee Sam Goldfish — rose from birth in Warsaw and childhood poverty in New York City to become one of the most powerful producers of Hollywood's early days. Independent, with an aversion to partnerships, he formed Samuel Goldwyn Productions in 1923 and went on to produce such pictures as "Dead End," "Stella Dallas," "Wuthering Heights," "Ball of Fire," "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "The Bishop's Wife." He is perhaps best remembered these days, however, for his twisted way with words. Among the "Goldwynisms" he coined are "Include me out," "Anyone who sees a psychiatrist ought to have their head examined" and "A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on." The play is set in 1952 in Goldwyn's office in Hollywood. Comic and film actor King has appeared in such movies as "Night and the City," "Enemies: A Love Story" and "Bonfire of the Vanities." For some years, he was mentioned to star in a developing Cy Coleman musical called It's Good to Be Alive, about a struggling theatrical troupe in the '20s, during the heyday of Yiddish theatre in New York City. He is no longer associated with the project.
Designers are David Gallo (set), Joe Aulisi (costume), Michael Lincoln (lighting) and T. Richard Fitzgerald (sound).
The Promenade Theatre is at 2162 Broadway at 76th Street. For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.
—By Robert Simonson