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A Second Act for “I'm Getting My Act Together ...”?

By Robert Kahn
|  Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013  |  Updated 3:53 PM EDT
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A Second Act for “Act”?

Joan Marcus

Renee Elise Goldsberry has a complicated history with Frederick Weller in "I'm Getting My Act Together ..."

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“I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road,” which reduced scores of theatergoers to sobbing wrecks last week as the closing production of City Center’s Encores! Off-Center series, could be getting a second act of its own.

That’s according to Michael Riedel in today’s New York Post, who reports that producer Erin Craig of La Vie Productions plans a meeting with Kathleen Marshall ("Anything Goes"), who directed the stripped-down Encores! stint, to hash out future plans.

Columns like that one sometimes just help producers suss out whether there’s an appetite for a particular property, but in this case -- trust us -- it’s a swell idea: it was rare to experience the electricity in a theater when Renee Elise Goldsberry came to the end of the ballad “Old Friend,” which speaks with the ring of truth about lasting friendships and fleeting love affairs. And P.S., Michael, it wasn’t just “the women” who were weeping by the time she was done.

Aside from Goldsberry (Broadway’s final Mimi in “Rent”), “Act” co-starred Frederick Weller, who toiled on USA’s “In Plain Sight.” Weller, who turned in a fine performance earlier this year as the brutish member of a love-quadrangle in Neil LaBute’s “Reasons to Be Happy,” here played a misogynist with a heart of gold, and the wardrobe of someone out of the “Scooby-Do” gang.

It’d be great to have the duo reunite to bring this little gem to a new Broadway audience, though Riedel thinks it’s more likely “Act” would play Off-Broadway, or in a nightclub, which is, as he notes, where the 1978 Gretchen Cryer-Nancy Ford feminist musical is set. “Act” tells the story of a thirty-something singer in the disco-era trying to reenergize her career outside of the influence of her set-in-his-ways manager.

One possible hitch: a lukewarm review from New York Times theater scribe Charles Isherwood, who called the musical “creaky.” Retorts Riedel: “I’ll be at the opening night with Charles. I’m going to hypnotize him with my lava lamp so that he gives it a good review.” If you’ve missed our recurrent fawning, here’s Goldsberry and Weller rehearsing “Old Friend."

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