Theatre folk at work in TV, films and pop; and vice versa.
PEG OF MY ART
Sixties icon David McCallum, doomed to being forever identified as "a man from U.N.C.L.E.," played an envoy of British agent Peggy Ramsey in Primary Stages' recent resurrection of Nasty Little Secrets, Lanie Robertson's account of Joe Orton's life and tragic end. In the film version of John Lahr's account, Prick Up Your Ears, Vanessa Redgrave played Ramsey and won awards for it. Now, Colin Chambers has penned, for St. Martin's Press, a fascinating biography of the British wheeler-dealer whose roster of clients included the creme de la creme of British theatre (like: Orton, David Hare, Eugene Ionesco, Willy Russell, Robert Bolt, Caryl Churchill, John Mortimer, Christopher Hampton and Alan Ayckbourn). . . . The House of Mirth, the Edith Wharton-Clyde Finch portrayal of turn-of-the-century manners, got a rare revival from The Mint Theatre -- while director John Schlesinger filmed the better-late-than-never movie version with Dustin Hoffman and Elisabeth Shue. Schlesinger and Hoffman last worked together in a radically different vehicle: Midnight Cowboy.
A WILDE IDEAL
Are they casting by subtext now? The openly gay Rupert Everett who makes a specialty of such roles (My Best Friend's Wedding, et al) landed the title role of Lord Goring in the film remake of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. Minnie (Good Will Hunting) Driver and Julianne (Boogie Nights) Moore, recent contenders for the same Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and Gabriel (The Usual Suspects) Byrne will co-star when filming commences this summer in England under the direction of Oliver Parker. . . . On the film music front: The Concordia Orchestra came through with another wonderful "Night at the Movies" in its annual Alice Tully Hall concert. Its centerpiece was the 1947 Joan Crawford-John Garfield Humoresque, the Fannie Hurst soap opera that allowed adapter Clifford Odets to retell his Golden Boy as violinist, with fugues instead of punches; guest artist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg did an excellent imitation of Isaac Stern, who did the Garfield's fiddle-fingering on camera. Another Oscar-nominated score on the same bill: Leonard Bernstein's symphonic rendering of his On the Waterfront (sweet shades of West Side Story and Candide). All that and a "Tom & Jerry" cartoon! Music director Marin Alsop's care and attention to these film evenings is loving and, truly, special.
The Tony-winning Miss Saigon (Lea Salonga) and the Tony-winning M. Butterfly (B.D. Wong) lend their voices to Disney's latest animation feature, Mulan. It has lyrics by City of Angels Tony winner David Zippel.
-- By Harry Haun