America’s favorite raconteur, talk show host and author of the highly entertaining”Talk Show” is headed back to the boards.
Cavett will play himself in “Hellman v. McCarthy,” starting Friday at the Abingdon Theatre. The play, written by Brian Richard Mori, was actually inspired by a 1980 episode of “The Dick Cavett Show”–where writer Mary McCarthy averred, “every word Lillian Hellman writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” Hellman responded with a lawsuit, which was unsettled at the time of her death in 1984.
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Cavett, the world’s best interviewer, many times. We’re pictured here at the home of friends Marshall Watson (in pink) and Paul Sparks, with Alec Baldwin, during an East Hampton Conservators fundraiser–photo by Ellen Watson. (Sidebar: Ironically none of us Watsons are actually related as far as we know.) I am always charmed by his quick wit and devastating intellect.
The Montauker is an icon–a word that has been bandied about so much that it has nearly lost its meaning but is used in the truest sense here. The native Nebraskan has famously interviewed everyone from Truman Capote and Judy Garland to John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix; written for Jack Paar and Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” as well as a damn good blog for the New York Times; and has starred in countless films, television shows and plays. I saw him in the role of the narrator in the Broadway version of “The Rocky Horror Show” and he was incredible!
Ever witty, he had this to say about himself as an actor in a recent NY Post interview: “I get the worst roles. I always get the Dick Cavett part in movies.”
What’s not to love?
“Hellman v McCarthy runs through April 13. Buy tickets at http://www.abingdontheatre.org.