Theater producer André Bishop

Theater producer André Bishop

A weeklong electronic journal.
Oct. 21 1997 3:30 AM

Theater producer André Bishop

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       Today was an easy day, as both companies of our upcoming shows (Ivanov and Pride's Crossing) were off. I did get a reassuring phone call from Jack O'Brien, the director of Pride's Crossing, telling me that he felt Tina Howe (the author) had "licked" the play's penultimate scene: a croquet game in which the play's 92-year-old heroine forces her equally ancient friends to play by her set of idiosyncratic rules and not by their old-fashioned, hidebound ones. He said that Cherry Jones, our leading actress, was pleased and stimulated by this new version. He invited me to a run-through of the play on Friday, the day after Ivanov's first preview. Oh God!
       Peter and I went to the movies: Washington Square. I was eager to see it, as we had produced a revival of The Heiress a few years ago, and this film was supposed to be closer to the Henry James book than The Heiress. Well, it wasn't. I thought all the actors overacted, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh--whose "message" I continue not to "get." In fact, all the leading characters seemed not merely obsessive but insane. The movie was like Christopher Durang goes to Washington Square, though not as funny. I felt The Heiress, for all its Broadway tidiness and melodramatics, was far superior and more gracefully written.
       And so to bed, as they say in diaries. Tomorrow through Thursday brings a difficult and potentially exhilarating time leading up to the first public performance of Ivanov.

André Bishop is the artistic director of the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City.