Caldwell has won four Tony Awards over her career, the most recent being for Master Class. Her stage appearances, however, have been infrequent over the past two decades. In fact, her involvement in The Play What I Wrote marks her first Broadway appearance since Master Class in the mid-90s.
Liam Neeson was the second secret celebrity guest star in The Play What I Wrote. The film actor appeared at the Tuesday, March 11, and Wednesday, March 12 performances. Neeson followed Roger Moore, filmdom's James Bond, who was the mystery guest during the show's first weekend of performances.
The Play What I Wrote, a quirky London theatrical sensation, began its American premiere at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre March 7.
Kenneth Branagh directs the work of Hamish McColl, Sean Foley and Eddie Braben, featuring actors McColl and Foley and Toby Jones on stage. The 2002 Olivier Award-winning play "revolves around Hamish, who no longer wants to be part of his comedy double act with Sean," according to production notes. "Instead, he wants to see the play he has written, A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple, properly mounted on the Broadway stage. But before this can happen, he needs a major star to play the supporting role to his lead role."
Moore starred in several movies as Agent 007, including "Live and Let Die," "The Spy That Loved Me" and "Moonraker." He was also star of the television series "The Saint." In the West End, those making special appearances as themselves included Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellen, Roger Moore, Jerry Hall, Sting and Ewan McGregor, among others. The identity of the nightly guest will be a tightly guarded secret.
The New York premiere is presented by The Orpheum Circuit (David Pugh, Joan Cullman, Mike Nichols, Hamilton South, Charles Whitehead, Stuart Thompson). The show is billed as a Nichols & Pugh production.
Producers offered tickets for the first five previews at the prices of, respectively, $1, $2, $3, $4 and $5. Tickets went on sale March 3 at the Lyceum box office, with film and stage actor-director Kenneth Branagh ("Hamlet") on hand to serve tea to those seeking a bargain; the special tix quickly sold out. Regular ticket prices range $45-$80.
The original London mounting was an homage to the famed-in-Britain-but mostly-unknown-in-the-U.S. comedy team of Ernie Wise and Eric Morecambe.
Sean Foley and Hamish McColl's other productions include Bewilderness and the comedy Do You Come Here Often?, which won the 1999 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and was nommed for a Drama Desk Award when it played Off-Broadway (where the duo made their New York stage debut).
Irving Davies, who recently passed away, created the original choreography, performed to original songs by Gary Yershon. Designing the show are Alice Power (sets, costumes) and Tim Mitchell (lighting).
The Lyceum is at 149 W. 45th Street. For ticket information, all (212) 239-6200.