PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Peter and the Starcatcher, a Prequel That Really Flies

By Harry Haun
16 Apr 2012

Jaime Cepero
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The "Smash" cast was out in full force to support Borle: Debra Messing, Will Chase, Jaime Cepero, Leslie Odom Jr., et al. "I'm here pushing Borle," Messing declared about her songwriting partner on the series. "I saw this Off-Broadway. It blew me away. I loved it so much, and I'm thrilled to see it tonight."

"I totally believe," Tovah Feldshuh proclaimed — with cause: "I played Peter Pan to George Rose's Captain Hook in Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis in '78."

Previews of coming Timbers coming-attractions were reflected in the first-night list. David Byrne, who is writing an Imelda Marcos musical with Fatboy Slim for The Public, was in attendance, as was their once and future President Marcos, Jose Llana. Also present were Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, whose 29th year of musical togetherness will get a New York Pops salute April 30. They've penned song for Timbers' Rocky, which has a book by Thomas Meehan. "At the end of August," said Ahrens, "we're off to Germany for 11 weeks."

Benjamin Walker, who was Timbers' Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and next month on screen will be Tim Burton's no less bloody "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," was with his potential first lady, Mamie Gummer.

Promises, Promises Tony winner Katie Finneran, large with Child No. 2, and her actor husband, Darren Goldstein, had a special reason to attend the show. "We're great friends of Alex Timbers," Katie explained. "He got us together by casting us in Beyond Therapy at Williamstown. He's responsible for our lives and our children's lives, so we will come to see anything he does."

Lisa Lampanelli's reason: "My friend, Jamie de Roy, is one of the producers, and she said it's fabulous, and so far she hasn't lied to me. I heard it's great — seriously — and uplifting. After a week away with my parents, I could use uplifting." La de Roy's date was CBS's Mo Rocca.

Laura Osnes, with the hubby she found doing the Aladdin launch (Nathan Johnson), continues to go about as legit as you can get since hanging up her Bonnie Parker pistols, moving from one Rodgers and Hammerstein mountain (the lovely, lost Pipe Dream at Encores!) to another (the one-night-only Carnegie Hall gala presentation of The Sound of Music April 24).

Roger Rees
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Heather Parcells of the last Chorus Line and the fleeting Wonderland, had a reason you don't hear every day for attending: "It's a beautifully blocked play. It's absolutely stunning. The blocking and direction are amazing. I want to see it again. I've actually seen it once, in previews." Her next effort will a May 8-11 workshop of All That Glitters, the Liberace musical with songs and book by director-choreographer Alexander DeJong. It hopes to be Broadway-bound in 2013.

B.D. Wong, returning to his good-luck theatre, the Atkinson, where he auditioned for his Tony-winning M. Butterfly, said he has wrapped his first season of "Awake" at NBC and is now focusing on doing his one-man solo show, Skip Kennon's Herringbone May 21-22 at Dixon Place.

Record exec Kurt Deutsch and singer-wife Sherie Rene Scott said they're blissfully booked for the next Playbill cruise Dec. 6-16 to South America. "It'll be my vacation from the new show I'm writing with [composer] Todd Almond," she added.

Brooke Shields brought the girls — Rowan, 8, and Grier, 5 — on the advice of her last Broadway husband, Gomez Addams (co-director Rees).

Gavin Creel, who began the role that Borle ended on Broadway — Jimmy Smith to Sutton Foster's Thoroughly Modern Millie — said he's packed and ready to go for The Book of Mormon tour.

J. Elaine Marcos dropped by after her Priscilla, Queen of the Desert matinee. "It's definitely a fun role I have in the show," she had to crow. "You can't really mess it up. Even if you do, it's fun — and who would know?"

Colin Hanlon, sporting one of the fake mustaches going around (mimicking Black Stache's), and Max von Essen, sporting a real one for Evita, posed with Kate Wetherhead, Santino Fontana and Lindsay Nicole Chambers, who co-star with them in the web series "Submissions Only."

Composer Tom Kitt, whose Pulitzer Prize music brought Chanler-Berat to Broadway, said his latest — the cheerleader musical, Bring It On — has moved from La Jolla to Charlotte, inching toward The Great White Way.

In the Heights' Lin-Manuel Miranda, who composed the Latin half of Bring It On's dueling score, showed up with his godson, Miguel.

The lyricist for Bring It On, Amanda Green, flew in from La Jolla where she has an even newer show on the runway, Hands on a Hard Body, which she and Grey Gardens' Doug Wright have adapted from a 1997 documentary about (what else?) an endurance/sleep deprivation contest to win a Nissan Hardbody truck. "We incorporated the best things they said in the documentary — and a lot of that into song. It was fun to write the music. It's the first time I've done that."

Her daddy, Adolph Green, and Betty Comden wrote a dandy lyric to Jule Styne's "Hook's Waltz" for Peter Pan, which her brother, Adam, performed as a spot-on impersonation of Green-doing-Hook at their father's memorial service. "Yeah, he really captured my father's spirit with that," she remembered.

The glammed-up Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff, the femme half of Now. Here. This., worked the red carpet, along with Martha Plimpton, Jay A. Johnson, directors Jerry Zaks and Michael Greif, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo Tony nominee Arian Moayed (NYTW-bound) with Krissy Shields, columnist Roger Friedman, Jessica Hershberg, Ricky Paull Goldin of "All My Children" and fiancee Gretta Monahan, Elizabeth Stanley of Encore! Merrily We Roll Along, Sarah Saltzberg, Steven Pasquale and Tony-winner wife Laura Benanti, composer Andrew Lippa, The Public's Oskar Eustis and Susie Essman.