Stage, Screen and Politics

Let’s talk about the stage — and the opening, last night, of the Larry Gelbart-Craig Wright serio-comedy “Better Late” at the Northlight Theater outside Chicago. The audience reaction — and box office — were so good the theater decided today to extend its run to May 18, having previously extended its previews due to the demand for tickets. Can Broadway be far away? The authors are happy to hear and read the encouragement and will do what they acknowledge can/should be done.

About his legit return with “Better Late” at 80, Gelbart says, “It’s a little like getting a baby late in life.” Neither Gelbart nor Wright winged to Chi for the opening. Gelbart admitted he was happy not to have tried to get a plane to Chicago — “If I did, how could I get back?” Wright, also a creator of ABC’s “Dirty, Sexy Money,” is busy here (he writes one of four scripts) readying its filming return to start airing in September.  Fresh from the WGA strike Wright acknowledges “the paranoia” about an actors’ strike.

One of the upcoming “Dirty, Sexy” segs will reflect the influence of l’affair Eliot Spitzer as Billy Baldwin’s Senatorial character unravels and airs his lengthy transsexual relationship. Wright’s also readying the bow of his dramatic politically-themed “Lady,” which has been readying in Houston and opens at The Road Theater in North Hollywood on April 25. Sounds like “Better Later” will need to be later.

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