West Wing" Comes to Broadway: NBC Shoots Prez Drama at Booth Theatre

News   West Wing" Comes to Broadway: NBC Shoots Prez Drama at Booth Theatre No, I'm Not Rappaport is not being bumped out of the Booth Theatre by a Royal National Company production of The Wars of the Roses.
The Booth Theatre prepared for The Wars of the Roses.
The Booth Theatre prepared for The Wars of the Roses. (Photo by Photo by Andrew Ku)

No, I'm Not Rappaport is not being bumped out of the Booth Theatre by a Royal National Company production of The Wars of the Roses.

Passersby of the Broadway venue in the heart of Manhattan's Theatre District may have thought so, though, as the theatre's marquee and posterboards boasted the fictional production.

NBC's political drama "The West Wing" alluded to the upcoming Broadway production in the episode "The Black Vera Wang," which aired May 8. The production — which supposedly combines Shakespeare's Henry plays — will be featured in the season finale, to air May 22, as the setting of the encounter of President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his upcoming Republican presidential race rival Rob Ritchie (guest star James Brolin). The final episode of the season "Posse Comitatus" sees the incumbent President's current situation mirrored by the comparable struggles of the Plantagenet.

The Booth Theatre was decked out with all things theatrical including quotes from fictional reviews for the Aaron Sorkin creation. Among them were New York Times quipping "Magnificent production," the New York Post imploring "Witness The Wars," "Absolutely exquisite" from Curtain Up and "Dramatic and stunning!" from Playbill's own faux reporter Patrina Chin. Detail was taken down to the cast and creative team as a poster listed the headliners Michael Stassi, Sean Riddle and Ellen Totleben under the direction of Itamar Kubovy and producer Dan Bishop.

Playbill® Publisher and President Philip Birsh granted the NBC drama special permission to use the Playbill name and logo to create a mock Playbill for the show. Copies will be donated to Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids and made available through their website. Mary-Louise Parker (Proof) also guest stars in her recurring role as the feminist activist/love interest of presidential aide Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford). Allison Janney, John Spencer, Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, Dule Hill and Janel Moloney also star.

The Booth Theatre stands at 222 West 45th Street. It is named for legendary actor Edwin Booth — not the presidential assassin.

For more photos, click here.

— by Ernio Hernandez