PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder — Die! Die! My D'Ysquiths!
18 Nov 2013
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
"It's been a really joyous journey, by and large," he said. "It's a piece that I love, and it suits my imagination. I like macabre things. I love this kind of material. I'm not a very sentimental guy, so this kind of show is perfectly at my speed."
One of the murders in the play salutes the thing that led him down this professional path. "I became a director because I saw 'Vertigo' when I was six years old — and that trick is totally an homage to 'Vertigo.' That's my favorite movie — still, to this day."
The curse that plagues the D'Ysquith who lives to (and almost through) the second act is his harridan wife, Lady Eugenia, who is played in a deliciously mean-spirited manner by Joanna Glushak with no attempt whatsoever to hide their miserable marriage from company. It seems to be some sort of Edwardian Albee arrangement.
Producers and personnel with the show sported boutonnieres with green leaves and a purple bloom. Veteran tenor Eddie Korbich, who butlers in the play and does nine other roles, showed up at the party bloomless and depressed. "I feel like Morticia Addams, who used to chop off the blossoms in the old television show," he mourned. "When I put my coat on, I knocked the blossom off and I haven't figured out how to reattach it. It's the Bella Donna flower, the poison flower used in the show."
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert were the last celebs to arrive, barely making it over from their Big Fish matinee four blocks away. They were preceded by Laura Benanti looking forward to the upcoming Encores! of The Most Happy Fella; director Walter Bobbie; Betsy Brandt, breaking up her professional allegiance and alliteration with "Breaking Bad" by taking on "The Michael J. Fox Show"; Daniel Breaker with son Rory; Tyne Daly in a gorgeous, long-flowing garment I offered to kiss the hem of; Jamie deRoy in her glitteriest Madame Producer gown with Tony Roberts; Ryan Eggold; Katie Finneran, also from Fox's show, and actor-hubby Darren Goldstein; a gone-platinum Alison Fraser; Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, who starts workshopping this week a musical version of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T; Jackie Hoffman; Dee Hoty, opening Nov. 18 at Theatre Row's Beckett in The Preacher and the Shrink (she ain't the preacher, believe me); Marin Ireland, a.k.a. Marie Antoinette for another week at Soho Rep, with mom; Judith Ivey, off tomorrow to direct a play in Washington (Derrah Cloud's Our Summer, "a bit of homage to Our Town") amd enjoying a night out with daughter Maggie Braine; playwright Terrence McNally (And Away We Go at the Pearl Theatre any day now) with hubby-producer Tom Kirdahy; Nathan Lane; Matt Leisy, a Fantasticks Boy; Ilana Levine and Dominic Fumusa; Ghost The Musical's Caissie Levy (as if she didn't know Bryce Pinkham was a villain); Jose Llana hirsuting himself up for Bill Sikes in the Paper Mill's upcoming Oliver!; Tony Lo Bianco, who's just turned the story of his life into a screenplay and making plans to play his pop; Patrick Page of A Time to Kill; Julia Murney and David Hyde Pierce now of The Landing; Joseph Sirola (with his signature homegrown rose); director Alex Timbers, getting ready to rock with Rocky; Kathleen Turner arriving all in black (does she know something?); ice-skating Olympian Dick Button; orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, who gave composer Lutvak real lift and lilt; Tony Yazbeck, who'll be dancing out Little Me's "I've Got Your Number" for Encores!; Tony Chiroldes formerly of In the Heights and now the Spanish-language Bryant Gumbel for HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" and MGM Golden Girl Marge Champion, a huge booster of Darko Tresnjak.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.