Photo: Bette Midler attends the opening of the play Brooklyn Laundry Starring Pal, Glenn Close, May 17, 1991

Bette Midler attends the opening of the play Brooklyn Laundry, Coronet Theater, New York


LA. Times
Brooklyn Laundry
Laundry’ on the Line : Where Is the Pedigreed Play Heading? Film? Broadway?

Who would think of me in a role like this?” asks Close, lightly answering the question of what attracted her to the role. “A huge challenge.” A theater veteran before she made a name for herself in movies and TV, Close won a Tony for Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” on Broadway. She last appeared on Broadway five years ago.

In “Brooklyn Laundry” which went into rehearsal on March 18, Close plays Maria/Birdie who has a terminal illness–which explains her scalp-cropped hair at the Oscars March 25. Shades of “Terms of Endearment”?

Dern, who studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and appeared in productions of “Hamlet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” there, agrees: “It’s different from anything I ever played–a tough Brooklyn girl,” noted Dern, whose movie career includes “Mask,” “Blue Velvet” and “Wild at Heart.” “And (Philamena’s) someone who takes a journey from the first act to the second. We look at a girl who becomes a completely different person–emotionally. Glenn and I aren’t the obvious choice for an aunt and niece in Brooklyn. The two WASPs are having a good time.”

Harrelson, whose theatrical credits include Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues” and his own original one-act “Two on Two,” which Brooks saw, noted on a break from the set of the movie “Doc Hollywood” that the “hardest challenge is to really try to be who I am. I’m kind of philosophical, like that character (but) I was having problems with my character (trying to find) the real balance between sexuality and heart. Something I’ve been facing a lot in my life.”

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