Stepford Wives Premiere in New York Tonight…

Mansion staff prepares for premiere spotlights
By Eve Sullivan
Staff Writer
June 7, 2004

NORWALK — Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum employees will get their second taste of Hollywood tomorrow night at the premiere of “The Stepford Wives.”

The staff has been invited to the New York City showing of the movie, partly filmed in the 62-room Victorian mansion last fall. The movie opens nationwide Friday.

“We had a good relationship with the production crew and the invitations came in,” said Marjorie St. Aubyn, the museum’s executive director. “We were thrilled.”

Employees are excited to see the cast and crew of the Paramount Picture remake and view the museum on the big screen, St. Aubyn said.

During filming, employees met the stars of the film, Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick and Christopher Walken, often in the kitchen, where they ate meals prepared by a caterer, St. Aubyn said.

Kidman had a “very charming smile” and was “quite enjoyable,” St. Aubyn said. Midler loved to shop and “bought out” the museum’s gift shop, she said. The singer and actress loves to read and bought several books, she said.

“She even dropped her credit card in the gift shop. We returned it,” St. Aubyn said.

Broderick was “very charming, very nice, well-spoken and polite,” she said, and Walken was always eating.

The crew, technicians and set designers were nice, St. Aubyn said, and “it will be fun to see everyone.”

“The Stepford Wives” is a satire of the 1975 film about an idyllic Connecticut town where affluent but timid husbands replace their wives with obedient robots.

In the film, the museum, built in 1868, is the site of the Stepford Men’s Association. The National Historic Landmark was closed for several months for refurbishing and filming.

Since the filming, more than 50 people have inquired about throwing parties for the opening of “The Stepford Wives,” but some had to be turned away.

People are allowed to rent Lockwood-Mathews, but no one may represent the museum or request a screening of the movie from Paramount, St. Aubyn said. Museum staff members hope to have such a party next month, she said.

Still, everybody wants to have some kind of party on the set of “The Stepford Wives,” she said.

“A lot of people have come and had birthday parties here and they dress up as Stepford Wives,” she said.

Four staff members and their guests will attend the star-studded New York premiere at 8:30 p.m. at Loews Cineplex in Lincoln Square on Broadway at 68th Street.

She considers the invitation a thank you from the hundreds of people who worked on the film, St. Aubyn said.

“My staff worked very, very hard,” she said. “It’s not easy having that many people descend on a museum and try to protect it.”

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