Monday, May 27, 2024

Broadway Premiere of “Red”: Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow at Hot A List Opening


The John Golden Theater on West 45th St. is small and unpleasant. That didn’t stop a ton of celebrities and well wishers from coming to see Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne in the Donmar Warehouse production of “Red.” The John Logan play about artist Mark Rothko is a smash and a cinch for all the main Tony Award nominations.

So we had three Oscar directors in the house: Martin Scorsese, Paul Haggis, and new winner Kathryn Bigelow. The latter was with Oscar winning “Hurt Locker” screenwriter Mark Boal.

Next, throw in Debra Winger and actor husband Arliss Howard; plus Martha Plimpton, Tobey Maguire, Alan Alda, Zach Braff, Alan Cumming, Victor Garber, Josh Hamilton, Linda Lavin, Alicia Silverstone, Rosie Perez, Matthew Settle, Jessica Walter, George C. Wolfe, Sarah Paulson, and “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon.

For some it was to see Alfred Molina, whose friends call him Fred, totally bald, set the tone for a Best Actor award as the outspoken, egotistical Rothko. Both he and Redmayne are just dynamite, and Logan’s play is full of wonderful monologues and memorable lines.

Whew!That list doesn’t include the group that showed up later at the swell party at the Gotham from the “Behanding in Spokane”: Anthony Mackie, Sam Rockwell, and Christopher Walken.

everyone wanted to meet the truly legendary artist Frank Stella, who is talked about in the play and was a contemporary of Rothko. How did it feel being in the audience? “I work in an artists’ studio that looked like the one on stage,” Stella told me. “But I could never imagine what it would be like to watch that on stage. It was very unusual.”

I did joke with Stella about the two upscale men’s clothing stores in Manhattan that bear his name. People always think he owns them. He does not. “I once asked them and the man said his name was Frank and his wife’s was Stella.” The artist shrugged. “A couple of years ago some one called my house and tried to order an over coat,” he said. He did not take the order.


Rosie Perez is wearing a neck brace. How did she get it? “I was on a shoot, and a day player got too excited in a fight scene.” It’s not easy being a famous actress!

Paul Haggis is taking a new group of actors to Haiti in the next couple of weeks. Among his new contingent: Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon. Haggis has been going down there twice a month to remind people around the world that things are still quite dire — Haitians are homeless, sick and dying. There’s no speedy cure to their monstrous problems.

Anthony Mackie met famed casting director Amanda Mackey. Their names sound exactly alike. “Are we related?” she jokingly asked. “I think you were my half-sister,” Anthony cracked wise. “We were a very open minded family!”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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