PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: The Performers; Bazooms and Neglect

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15 Nov 2012

Daniel Breaker and Jenni Barber
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Breaker appreciated the break from broader comedy. "I don't usually get to play the straight man who sets 'em up so it was a thrill going from Donkey in Shrek to this.

"And I love this cast. What's extraordinary is that you have these five other actors who are very unique in their common styles — very original — and they have come together, thanks to the beautiful writing skills of David West Read, to make this wonderful piece that is sweet and funny and sexy and bawdy and full of heart."

As the Siliconed-silly Sundown, a chesty but empty and surprisingly innocent vessel, Barber showed up at the party normally proportioned, as she was when she did Goldie Hawn's Oscar-winning role in Off-Broadway's recent replant of Cactus Flower.

It was possible to duck the indelicate measurements question by citing recent prosthetic stage miracles (Cyrano de Bergerac and The Heiress), and she immediately, eagerly, went for it: "Oh, yes, yes. The same category as that."

Not everyone can emotionally turn on a dime in platform shoes, but she managed nicely. "I love that quality in her. It energizes itself. You don't have to push to work."

First-nighters included Jason Butler Harner, a Cock contingent of one; Justin Long, late of Seminar and longing for more Broadway; Keith Nobbs, suddenly hirsuted for Off-Broadway's upcoming The Great God Pan; Wild With Happy's Colman Domingo; film director Mark Webb with his "Amazing Spider-Man" leading lady, Zooey Deschanel, now a "New Girl" with a new main-squeeze, screenwriter Jamie Linden; Bravo's Andy Cohen with the very funny Amy Sedaris; director Michael Wilson, bracing to begin rehearsing Danny Burstein and Sarah Paulson for Talley's Folly in January; Jon Bernthal, late of "The Walking Dead" and headed to MCC Theater; Krysta Rodriguez and Andy Mientus, two from "Smash"; Rachel Dratch, late of "Saturday Night Live"; Melissa Errico, fresh from her 54 Below triumph, with hubby Patrick McEnroe; lady-in-red Carla Gugino; Cinderella scribe Douglas Carter Beane; monologuist-actor Eric Bogosian, who played Silverstone's lover in Time Stands Still, nearing the end of his five-year novel-writing bender about a 1920s-vintage Armenian assassin ("But who cares what I'm doing? The most important thing after somebody comes to see The Performers is to go over and see Emotional Creature, which my beautiful wife [Jo Bonney] just directed and opened two nights ago at the Signature"); James [Davis] and Jaymes [Vaughan], the "Amazing Race" hunks; Tammy Blanchard, an Emmy-winning Judy Garland and a Tony-nominated Gypsy Rose Lee; Mark Feuerstein and Paulo Costanzo, two "Royal Pains"; Linda Lavin with hubby Steve Bakunas; stage-turning-opera director Michael Mayer, and Olivia Wilde.

Honored guest on opening night was Austin Tracy, a 23-year-old aspiring playwright once of Michigan and now of New York City. He won a Twitter contest to come up with the best porn title. His winning entry: Slutty Slutty Mandrew Jackson.


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