PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; A Weekend in the Country

By Harry Haun
15 Mar 2013

Genevieve Angelson
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Gotham Hall was the scene of the elegant after-party. A foyer just beyond the entrance was turned into a temporary press room for the evening. While Durang and Weaver beat the tomtoms for their show, their other halves — playwright John Augustine and director Jim Simpson — occupied themselves by doing some snapshot showdowns, taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.

First-nighters included Julie Halston, a comic who knows funny and jumped at a chance to see the show a third time; Fyvush Finkel, always up for a good laugh himself; Caissie Levy, late of Ghost: The Musical, and hubby David Reiser; Dogfight duo Derek Klena and Lindsay Mendez; Really Really playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo with Patti Murin, the former Lysistrata Jones; Margaret Colin, classy as always; Phillip Boykin, Crown-less after Porgy and Bess but summer-booked for Show Boat and Jesus Christ Superstar (right now he's readying a staged reading of Lord Tom, the Musical, written by Stanley Jay Gelber and Kimberly Vaughn and inspired by Uncle Tom's Cabin); A Little Night Music's Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, expanding into cabaret (54 Below on March 25) and TV soaps ("I start shooting 'One Life to Live' on Wednesday — a swank-hotel worker involved with a client" — the mind boggles); Linda Lavin, L.A.-bound next week to play Sean Hayes' mom in a promising pilot; Victor Garber; Dead Accounts' Jayne Houdyshell with The Trip to Bountiful's Bill Kux; MSNBC's Thomas Roberts; Daniel Breaker and Marsha Mason, who grandly stooped to conquer earlier this week, enough to stir up talk of a Restoration resurrection.

Also present: Colman Domingo, one of The Scottsboro Boys; T. R. Knight, fresh from "The Good Wife"; Lisa Kron, a recent comedic standout in The Good Person of Setchuan; Will Swenson, predicting a reprise of MTC's recent Murder Ballad after he struts out Jack Cassidy's showstopping role in It's a Bird… It's a Plane… It's Superman at Encores! next weekend; Rachel Dratch; double-dating designers William Ivey Long of Cinderella and Paul Gallo of Wonderland; Julia Murney, set to sing the all-Stephen Schwartz evening April 12 with Norm Lewis and Jeremy Jordan at Carnegie Hall; Claybourne Elder, off to Venice at the end of April (not Italy, not California — an imaginary place in a new musical at The Public); Keith Reddin, who had the title role in Durang's Glass Menagerie spoof, For Who the Southern Belle Tolls; Bobby Steggert ("I just finished one of my last rehearsals for Big Fish, and we're going to Chicago on Sunday. Norbert Leo Butz and I are father and son. It's a beautiful, beautiful show. I would say Susan Stroman is the best director I've ever worked with."); Brooks Ashmanskas, putting himself back together after his multi-charactered outing in Clive; Angelica Page, writing a new play and returning before year's end with her one-woman show on Mom Geraldine; writer-director Douglas McGrath, and Kate Bishop and Daddy Andre.