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Steven Culp in "It's Only a Play"

January 12 - January 26, 1986
Previews began December 17, 1985

Manhattan Theatre Club Stage I, New York

Steven Culp was the understudy
to the parts of Gus Washington, Frank Finger, Peter Austin

Playwright by Terrence McNally
Directed by John Tillinger

Christine Baranski - Julia Budder
Paul Benedict - Ira Drew
Mark Blum - Peter Austin
James Coco - James Wicker
David Garrison - Frank Finger
Joanna Gleason - Virginia Noyles
Jihmi Kennedy - Gus Washington
Scott Robertson - James Wicker/Ira Drew
Florence Stanley - Emma

New York Times Review


It's the opening night of The Golden Egg on Broadway, and the wealthy producer (Julia Budder) is throwing a lavish party in her lavish Manhattan townhouse. Downstairs the celebrities are pouring in, but the real action is upstairs where a group of insiders have staked themselves out in the producer's bedroom, waiting for the reviews to come in. Included are the excitable young author; the brilliant but unstable director (who courts failure and is devastated when his work is well received); the pill-popping leading lady (who is hoping to revive her career after a series of flop movies); and the playwright's best friend, an egotistical but insecure comic actor who passed up a chance to star in the play for a television series which has since been cancelled. Also present are a fawning, hypocritical drama critic (who is a closet playwright); a would-be singer working as a part-time servant; and a hard-boiled lady taxi driver who has seen it all, many times over. The good natured bonhommie with which the evening begins grows steadily bitchier and funnier as the reviews (all bad) come in, and those assembled seek desperately to pin the blame on each other. But, as euphoria slides into despair, the narcissism, ambition, childishness and just plain irrationality that infuse the theatre and its denizens take over, and as the curtain falls plans are eagerly afoot for their next venture this one sure to be the hit they have all been hoping for.

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