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Archival Dames: Gena Rowlands, Thelma Ritter and Joan Blondell

Rowlands and Ritter

Orpheum Audience

Blondell
If I lived in Brooklyn, I would have been in the audience on Dec. 2 for the theatrical re-staging of my favorite John Cassavetes film, Opening Night.

TheNY Times review reports that director Mr. van Hove based his production on the original Cassavetes script for Opening Night rather than the filmed version (a version he claims to have never seen).  I utterly associate Opening Night with the strength of its casting which includes Hollywood bit player Thelma Ritter (who appeared in every Film Noir ever made), Busby Berkeley favorite Joan Blondell, and of course, the amazing, unclassfiable Gena Rowlands (a future memorial film could be made up of outtakes of her smoking cigarettes and waving her at  a mirror).   I could watch these three actresses in a silent version of Opening Night but I’m not sure I could stand  a minute of a stage or screen production without them. 

 
The play within the play seems particularly unwat In my experience, the film is essentially unwatchable any minute Rowlands, Powell or Ritter are not on the screen.

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