Friday, September 22, 2006

Suddenly Blythe Danner Is Everywhere

Suddenly Blythe Danner Is Everywhere

I suppose younger adults may be forgiven for thinking of Blythe Danner merely as Gwyneth Paltrow's mother, but for those of us who are a few years (or in my case a generation) older, Paltrow falls in her mother's shadow more than in her footsteps. That's because Danner has enjoyed an amazingly rich, vital career as an accomplished Broadway actress that stretches back to 1968 when she played Sister Marthe in a revival of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Along the way, this very distinguished actress has been nominated for four Tony Awards: Butterflies Are Free (1970) -- in which she won for her portrayal of Jill Tanner, Betrayal (1980), A Streetcar Named Desire (1988) and Follies (2001). Despite the fact that Goldie Hawn captured the role of Jill Tanner for the film version of "Butterflies Are Free" in 1972 and Patricia Hodge played Emma in 1983's "Betrayal," Danner has nevertheless enjoyed a steady stream of film and television roles from the early 70s right up through today, and she's never been better or more high profile.

One of the key reasons why a new, younger audience should have become familiar with her has been her work in the popular "Meet The Parents" and "Meet The Fockers" movies with Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro, as well as her Emmy-winning role as Izzy on "!Huff" with Hank Azaria. Indeed, just last year, Danner was nominated for three Emmy Awards. Suddenly, Blythe Danner is everywhere -- including back on the stage.

Fortunately for theatregoers, they'll have yet another opportunity to see Danner starting next month in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer. Danner has been cast in the role of Mrs. Venable, described as "an aging widow distraught over the mysterious death of her son." Mark Brokaw helms the play that also stars Carla Gugino as the young man's cousin, who raises salacious accusations regarding him.

Like a fine wine, Danner only seems to get better through the years, and we're blessed by additional opportunities to see her shine.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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At 22 September, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

P.S. There are a couple of other reasons why I'd really like to see "Suddenly Last Summer" -- Becky Ann Baker, who played the deliciously daffy Sara Jane Moore in Roundabout's 2004 Tony-winning revival of "Assassins," and Wayne Wilcox, whom I first saw in the wonderfully self-absorbed role of Jamie in "The Last Five Years" in Philadelphia (2003), have just been announced this past week for the cast. They'll take on the roles of Mrs. Holly and George Holly, respectively. Suddenly, this show is getting me very excited.


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