The Bernadette of the title is none other than Ms. Peters of Broadway divadom. As for the butcher, it is not Frank Rich, the former New York Times critic who was often crowned with that title, but one Morgan Rydell, a columnist for the New York Star, and in truth a thinly veiled version of Michael Riedel, the theatre columnist of the New York Post. Last spring, Riedel created a small firestorm within the Broadway theatre community with what seemed to be his endlessly negative coverage of Peters' portrayal of Mama Rose in the hit revival of Gypsy. Peters' fans cried foul and Ben Brantley, the lead critic for the New York Times, put forth a different argument by praising Peters' performance in a review as rosy as Riedel's columns were snappish.
Brian Bradley of The New York Standard stands in for Brantley in Bell's parody. The play begins with Bradley and Rydell meeting in a bar on the eve of Peters' final performance in Gypsy, just before—ahem—Susan Lucci takes her place as Rose.
A press spokesman said Riedel has taken in the show, while Brantley has yet to attend.
The show, which is directed by Christopher Borg, features Ron Bopst, Brett Douglas, Desmond Dutcher, Ellen Reilly, Mark Ruggiero, Michael Silva and Dayna Steinfeld.
All tickets are $10 plus a two-drink minimum. For information and reservations call (212) 255-5438.