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“IT’S ONLY A PLAY” CHARACTER BREAKDOWN
A wealthy first-time Broadway producer, Julia Budder, is throwing an opening night party for The Golden Egg at her luxurious Manhattan home. The playwright Peter Austin, the director, the actors, along with assorted friends and hangers-on (including a critic) nervously wait for the late-night reviews printed in the newspapers. Meanwhile, they gossip and throw out the names of the celebrities who are in attendance. Virginia Noyes, the star of the show, is taking drugs. James Wicker, an old friend of the playwright, is now a successful TV actor who turned down the lead in the play, and is relieved and secretly thrilled about the bad reviews that arrive. And, although Ira Drew is a theater critic, he is very critical of the theater because he has no talent to actually participate, despite his secretly writing plays. Not discouraged by the bad reviews for The Golden Egg, the assembled parties eagerly make plans for their next play, which they know will be a hit.JULIA BUDDER (Female, 35-60) (Originally played by Megan Mullally)
- the extremely wealthy, neophyte producer of the play; enthusiastic and passionate devotee of "the theatre," charmingly dotty and benevolent dilettante, not the most self-aware woman in the world, such as when explaining the concept of "breaking a leg" to a roomful of seasoned theatre people.
- Pages 19-20, (Julia, James & Frank scene) (Start with "I did it..." and end with James's line "You got that almost right.")PETER AUSTIN (Male, 35-55) (Originally played by Matthew Broderick)
- The excitable author of a new play, The Golden Egg, the type who sincerely believes that "you can write a serious play for Broadway and still have a place in the Hamptons."
- Page 28, Monologue (Start with "The lights flicked on and off." And end with "End of speech.")JAMES WICKER (Male, 40-60) (Originally played by Nathan Lane)
- A witty, sarcastic, middling sitcom star; has been best friends with Peter since their off-off Broadway days, egotistical but insecure, turned down the lead in The Golden Egg to remain on his (just cancelled) television series, secretly thrilled with the terrible reviews the play receives.
- Pages 11 & 12, Monologue (Start with “I’m in New York at an Opening Night Party” and end with “Watch this one be a hit.”VIRGINIA NOYES (Female, 50-65) (Originally played by Stockard Channing)
- The pill-popping, Tony-winning leading lady of the play; trying to resurrect her career by returning to Broadway after a series of movie flops and more than a few cocaine hits.
- Page 14, Monologue (Start with “I don’t have to call…” and end with “it was worth the wait.”)FRANK FINGER (Male, 24-31) (Originally played by Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in Harry Potter)
- The angst-ridden, boy-wonder/enfant terrible, British-by-way-of New Jersey director of The Golden Egg, a self-deprecating almost to the point of self-loathing sort who, after a string of 14 theatrical successes, longs for the flop that will reveal him to be the poseur he claims he actually is, prone to bouts of histrionics and kleptomania.
- Page 53, Monologue (Start with “I’m fine. I feel good…” and end with “Here. I don’t need these anymore.”)IRA DREW (Male, 50-65) (Originally played by F. Murray Abraham)
- Fawning, sycophantic, two-faced drama critic who is a closet playwright, skewers the theatre world he desperately wants to be a part of.
- Pages 24-25, (Start with "I'm a critic of the old school." And end with "...the collapse of Western Civilization." Cut James's line "It was a simple question.")GUS P. HEAD (Male, 20-30) (Originally played by Micah Stock)
- Actor/waiter hired to work the party; just off the bus from Kansas, wide-eyed and naïve, star-struck and impressionable, extremely enthusiastic.
- Pages 7-9, (Gus & James scene) (Start at top of play with "Mr. Piper? It's me again." And end with "... heavy farm equipment."