Friday, June 21, 2024

Broadway Exclusive: Moss Hart’s Famous “Act One” Headed to Lincoln Center


This is exciting news if you are older or wiser: famed playwright Moss Hart’s beloved memoir, “Act One,” is being turned into a play. And that play is coming to Lincoln Center next spring thanks to the great James Lapine. He’s adapted the book and will direct the production.

Trust me, this story will get three hits among readers younger than 50. But Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman wrote the most wonderful plays ever including “You Can’t Take it With You” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” He and Kaufman also wrote the screenplays for “A Star is Born” (with Judy Garland), “Gentleman’s Agreement,” “Hans Christian Anderson,” and “Winged Victory.” You know, real movies.

Moss Hart was married to the late Kitty Carlisle Hart, who became a New York icon in her own right and carried on his legacy for years and years after he died in 1961 at the much too young age of 57.

Lapine and casting director Daniel Swee are looking for someone great to play Moss, a guy in his mid 20s with a New York Jewish sensibility.

The show comes off a two performance workshop tryout last month on Martha’s Vineyard featuring Tony Shalhoub, Debra Monk, Chuck Cooper and David Turner.

Anyway, the weird thing is I recently found a first edition of “Act One” and put it away for safekeeping. Now I’m going to dust it off for a re-read ASAP.

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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