Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany's: The Play (again)

I blame this on being out of the country and away from computers when the story was confirmed, but have you all heard about the stage production of Breakfast at Tiffany's now on in London? It previewed at the end of September and is now running at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until the end of January 2010. Interesting...

Does anyone have any inclination to see it? It stars Anna Friel of the terminally cute television show Pushing Daisies as Holly Golightly, and while Anna is on record as saying she wouldn't attempt to mimic Audrey's iconic portrayal of the callgirl with a heart of gold, the adverts certainly give another impression. Don't blame the girl, though, as the few onstage shots I've managed to find show Anna as a curly blonde more reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe (Capote's original choice for Holly) than Audrey Hepburn. I'm afraid that I can't really show you any of the pictures I've found because I try to keep this as family friendly as possible, and, well . . . Anna appears completely nude onstage. Yes, starkers.

The play is based off of Truman Capote's original novella and not the sweetened screenplay that George Axelrod adapted to film, and is set in 1943 as opposed to the then-current time of 1961 for the film. There is also a language warning on both the theatre's website and the production's official website, more in keeping with Capote's sometimes blue writing. If you are interested in catching the show tickets are still available and can be found on the theatre's website (link above), and seem to range from around £17 to £50. If you do go see, please share your thoughts with those of us who can't make it! We'd love to hear from you.

While doing some research on this I found that this actually wasn't the first time Breakfast had been put onstage. There had been rumors in the late 90s and early 2000s that someone somewhere was going to do an adaptation and Natalie Portman had been asked to take on Holly, but thanks to Google and an unauthorized biography you can now read more about one of the most notorious Broadway flops in history, Breakfast at Tiffany's the Musical. Can you imagine Mary Tyler Moore as a singing and dancing Holly? Or Richard Chamberlain as the sensitive, bookish Paul Varjak? A cast recording was made shortly before the play closed and is still available on CD, surprisingly enough. Don't waste your time on Amazon where third party sellers will try to gouge you at $50 or more. Barnes & Noble's website has the album selling at $26.39 with listening samples! I won't influence your minds, so if you're curious, go listen to the samples for yourself . . . and leave comments, of course. I love hearing your thoughts on anything, especially the more bizarre findings. :)


ABowlOfMush said...

I wonder what it will be like!
Anna Friel is actually very Audrey Hepburn like and she might play Holly well.

Maggie said...

Yikes! I have a bad feeling about this...

I almost wish I were going to be there to see the show though...

Samantha said...

I've seen the play twice now - due to a friend's surprise welcome home gift on my return to London from New York and again this week as an anniversary date for my husband and I. The play is gorgeous with great actors, costumes and an amazing set. It even has a live cat that steals the show. Anna Friel makes the role her own and doesn't attempt to be Audrey. She plays the guitar and sings in the play but it is not a musical. The nudity is fleeting, discreet and in character, Joseph Cross (William/Fred) gets naked too in a bath scene, full frontal, but again this is fleeting! It hasn't been received well by the critics here in London and most of the audience expect an adaptation of the film or a full blown musical rather than the tone of Truman's dark novella. And they're shocked that Holly is Blonde.

Here is a link to an article and photo - a headshot (no nudity or bad language!) of Anna Friel, blonde as Holly:


And here an interesting article on the film and why Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe, not Audrey, to play Holly.

ARTICLE: How Truman Capotes novella became a Hollywood film by Sarah Churchwell


The above article has photos from the film and again no nudity or bad language.

I love the play and would recommend it but I'd say read the novella first. The play and film are very different adaptations. I'm not sure it will go to New York sadly becaue of the reviews, a real shame.

The Fabulous Audrey Hepburn said...

Thank you so much for your insight, Samantha! If you don't mind, I'd love to quote you on this so no one misses your review and the extra information you were so gracious to provide. I really appreciate you doing that for everyone.

Loes said...

Whoa. 'Interesting' might be the right subtile word for the BAT-play-to-be.. Been listening to the songs of the musical and they don't even sound bad (only judging the songs here! ;) ) - not super catchy or moving either, but not BAD. My only surprise is that 'Moon River' isn't included! What's with that? :P

Forgetmenot said...

I already knew about the play!
I even made a post on my blog about it ;)
you can check it if you want to: