Field day for press

'Success' after-party generates low buzz

The Thursday night opening of “Sweet Smell of Success” may have set a season record for Broadway’s shortest standing ovation. (Or did everyone simply rise en masse to restore circulation?)

John Lithgow, as J.J. Hunsecker, performs the show’s big 11 o’clock number, the aptly titled “Don’t Look Now” by Marvin Hamlisch and Craig Carnelia. After not heeding the song’s title, one Shubert Alley wag whispered, “Springtime for Hunsecker!”

The blowout party in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria was clearly intended to recall Gotham’s glam days of yore. But who had the strength to dance? And few were talking about the show.

In retrospect, it made last season’s “Seussical” fete look downright festive. Apparently most celebs decided to stay home despite intense media coverage: For a tuner that skewers the press, photogs and TV cams provided the only flash at the party.

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