Thursday, May 30, 2024

Catherine Zeta Jones Makes A Splash at “Big Fish” Broadway Opening


My favorite thing about the Broadway opening of “Big Fish” on Broadway last night–besides Norbert Leo Butz’s magnificent work as the younged down Albert Finney character: chatting with Catherine Zeta Jones. She looked like a million bucks, was in a great mood, and enjoyed the show immensely. She came with Universal Pictures’ chief Ron Meyer and his good friend, producer Bill Haber– two guys once ran with Creative Artists Agency with Mike Ovitz.

CZJ is really a beauty, and it was nice to see her off duty–just as a guest, not promoting anything. I was standing in a row of seats in front of this gang at intermission. All of a sudden CZJ decided she wanted to stretch her legs. Luckily, they are long. She literally stepped over the backs of the chairs and into my row with incredible panache. She’s a dancer, after all. Coming back, she did the same thing again! No standing on ceremony!

Sitting just behind this group in the Neil Simon Theater: Regis and Joy Philbin double dating with Michael and Laurie Gelman. At the end of my row: Zach Braff with his beautiful blonde girlfriend, Taylor Bagley. At the end of the emotional show I ran into Marisa Tomei. “I cried!” she said, wiping away tears.

Around in the audience, plenty of New York icons and theatre types, from Whoopi Goldberg to Harvey Weinstein and so on. Right after the show I ran into Paul Haggis, who’s been in this column more times this week than Sting!

“Big Fish” by the way rests entirely on the magnetism of Butz, and the incredible choreography of Susan Stroman. She literally works magic on the stage. I was not a fan of Andrew Lippa’s monotonous songs. But Kate Baldwin sings one called “I Don’t Need a Roof” toward the end which should have been the template for all the others. It’s beautiful, and she’s lovely.

PS: No I did not look to see if CZJ was wearing a wedding ring, and we did not discuss anything like that. No one else did. It was just nice to see her looking happy and healthy. She’s a good egg.


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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