Monday, June 17, 2024

Hamptons: Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick Hit “Mad Men” Star John Slattery’s Opening Night


The subject was families Saturday night in Sag Harbor, where John Slattery, his wife Talia Balsam, and and their son Harry opened the Bay Street Theater’s news season in “The Subject Was Roses.”

The subject really was family, with one on stage, and one of its members descended from famous parents. Balsam is the daughter of the late acting legend Martin Balsam and his wife, Joyce van Patten (of the famous family with that name.

“The Subject Was Roses” was also originally a Tony award Pulitzer Prize winning play by the late Frank Gilroy. His sons, Dan and Tony, are famous writers and directors now, and Dan is married to Renee Russo. The play is about a fractured family trying to come to terms with itself.

Outside Bay Street, there was an atmosphere of exuberance. The drama was palpable. There was a wine cart selling Wolffer sparkling rose, and a summer intern named Lily giving long stemmed roses to VIPs beside the red carpet where theater royalty such as Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin smiled for cameras. Everyone was waiting for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick who showed up with friends Andy Cohen and Bridget Everett, star of the HBO series, “Somebody Somewhere.”

Nepo or not, let’s just say, young Harry has good genes. As Timmy, navigating the emotional roller coaster of this post-WW II family in Gilroy’s play, Harry makes it all look so easy. “Mad Men” star John Slattery was happy with opening night, especially for his son. First time out of the gate, “Harry hit it out of the park.”

Said Talia: “It’s a period piece but it’s the internal lives, the alcoholism, the family dynamic of a boy watching his parents in a dysfunctional situation. Someone who wants to get out and make his own way is universal.”

While Sag Harbor is far from Broadway, producer Jamie de Roy — involved with all the musical Tony nominated plays, plus “Stereophonic” — is looking forward to the awards even though with the smaller venue this year Lincoln Center’s Geffen Hall. But she told me she has a common complaint: her fellow producers are not getting their preferred seating. But that’s another story.

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