Every day is opening night.


Ladies and gents,
My loyal readers know that I was positively gobsmacked last season when I first saw Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2. Not only is it a slyly brilliant comic masterpiece, it also featured the best performance of the year in Laurie Metcalf’s utterly modern take on the author formerly known as Nora Helmer (which would go on to earn her her first Tony Award). Well, Ponyboys and Ponygirls, nothing gold can stay, as we know– and especially when there’s network TV reboot in the offing. So, this Sunday she will take her final bow as Nora, along with her brilliant co-stars Chris Cooper and Condola Rashad (the always pitch perfect Jayne Houdyshell will stay on as the Helmer’s loyal maid, Anne Marie). Oh, what a crisis for some poor casting agent! How does one replace the irreplaceable?
Julie White to the rescue! Julie, who nabbed a Tony for her hilarious portrait of a talent agent in crisis in Douglas Carter Beane’s The Little Dog Laughed and who memorably replaced Sigourney Weaver as the narcissistic, boy-crazed, movie star sibling in Christopher Durang’s Best Play winner Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, is the most inspired replacement casting since Fantasia took over for LaChanze in The Color Purple. There aren’t many actresses who can coax both the comedy and pathos out of a housewife and mother who has left her family to pursue a life on her own, and possess enough sex appeal to make an audience believe that Torvald just might still be pining for her after all these years. How lucky we are that there are at least two!
Taking over for Chris Cooper is another great “secret weapon” of the stage (and screen): Stephen McKinley Henderson. A devoted theater actor who is, perhaps, the greatest living interpreter of August Wilson’s work, Henderson has suddenly, in the past year, become an almost ubiquitous film actor with a string of finely-tuned performances (most notably: reprising the role of Bono in the film adaptation of Fences).
Relative newcomer Erin Wilhelmi, last on Broadway in The Crucible, will take over for Rashad as Nora and Torvald’s daughter, Emmy.

Delicious roles for delicious actors. Dig in!

Tidbits from around summer towns…
Saw Philip Galanes (in Beverly Hills Hotel swim trunks!) chatting with Marshall Heyman on Wiborg Beach in East Hampton.
Spotted Andy Cohen riding a bike through Provincetown, skillfully negotiating the crowds on Commercial Street.
Witnessed Lorne Michaels pick up a check for a neighboring table at The Crows Nest in Montauk.
Spotted Carole Shorenstein Hays rolling dough in Santa Rosa, in preparation for the Sonoma County Fair.

As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!


Scoop V.