Denis Leary praises Mike Nichols' 'Country Girl'

“FRANKLY, MY dear, you won’t give a damn!” to paraphrase Margaret Mitchell’s famous words uttered by Clark Gable in “Gone With the Wind.”

I’m talking the devastating London reviews for the musical of this famed 1936 novel. Trevor Nunn has directed this 3 hour 40 minute epic, but it does not come up to his successful, long-lasting production of “Nicholas Nickleby.” One critic said the show “achieves the kind of paradox normally only found in the baffling field of quantum mechanics. It feels interminable… but also ridiculously rushed.” In spite of one knock-out gospel number done by NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mammy, there’s nothing here to go to London for. Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Hattie McDaniels are what made “Gone With the Wind” so watchable. And they are long gone.

BACKSTAGE at the New York Pops S.R.O. sold-out 25th year celebration, I had a fabulous talk with he-man Denis Leary — Mr. Blue Collar himself, the hero fireman of TV’s “Rescue Me.” Turns out he is a serious student of film and drama and he offered up a rave for the three stars of the Mike Nichols-directed “The Country Girl.” “I can’t say enough,” said Denis, “about the talents of Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher.” Massachusetts-born Denis now lives in downtown Manhattan. “I am so lucky, my work is chiefly in NYC.” Look for Denis on May 25 as co-star to Kevin Spacey in HBO’s “Recount,” the film story of how Al Gore lost the election in the year 2000. He plays Michael Whowley, a Democratic operator for Gore.

MY PAL Roger Rosenblatt hosts the Author’s Guild Foundation black tie dinner May 5 honoring Richard Howorth and Louis D. Rubin, Jr. The Metropolitan Club guest list? Only the biggest literary names. Call 917-541-9014

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