A Catered Affair

The article is about the stage musical. For the 1956 film, see The Catered Affair.
A Catered Affair
Catered affair
Cover of Original Broadway Cast Recording
MusicJohn Bucchino
LyricsJohn Bucchino
BookHarvey Fierstein
BasisThe Catered Affair by Paddy Chayefsky
Productions2007 San Diego Tryout
2008 Broadway

A Catered Affair is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by John Bucchino. It is based on both the 1956 film The Catered Affair written by Gore Vidal and the original 1955 teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky, set in 1953 in the Bronx. This is the first of Bucchino's scores produced on Broadway.


The show premiered on September 20, 2007 at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in tryouts, with the official opening on September 30, running through November 11. The show began previews on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 25, 2008 and opened officially on April 17.[1] The production closed on July 27, 2008 after 116 performances and 27 previews.[2] John Doyle directed the production, which stars Fierstein, Faith Prince and Tom Wopat. This production received 12 Drama Desk Award nominations,[3] the most of any show from the 2007-08 season.[4][5]

Plot synopsis

In the Bronx in 1953, young lovers Jane Hurley and Ralph Halloran decide to get married. Meanwhile Jane's father, Tom, who owns a third-share in a taxi, agrees with one of his partners, Sam, that they will buy out the share of the third driver, Pasternak. Jane and Ralph, along with Tom and Sam, happily exclaim the virtues of partnership ("Partners"). Timing is inauspicious, since the bride's brother has just been killed in the Korean War. The couple does not want a large, expensive wedding, and Tom needs the money to buy out Pasternak. As Jane's mother Aggie announces that the upcoming wedding will be held quickly and quietly in City Hall, the neighborhood women react ("Women Chatter"). Dinner with Ralph's wealthier family leads Aggie to decide to give the couple a huge formal affair, committing her and Tom's life's savings and bereavement check to an elaborate wedding with an extensive guest list and a lavish catered reception ("Our Only Daughter"). Aggie feels guilty about having neglected Jane and sees an opportunity to plan the white wedding that she herself never had. The bride's gay Uncle Winston, initially hurt and furious at having been left off the original guest list, becomes a support for Aggie.

Jane is initially beguiled by the attention, and happily picks out a wedding dress ("One White Dress"). But soon relationships are strained to the breaking point under the pressure of costly bridesmaids' dresses, cake layers, and each detail. Aggie confesses to Jane that she and Tom were married because she was pregnant ("Vision"), and because her father bought Tom his share in the taxi. Finally Jane and Ralph decide to call off the elaborate wedding and party and marry quietly as they had planned. The quiet and unemotional Tom finally expresses his love and caring for Aggie ("I Stayed"), and Tom and Aggie come closer together. As they get ready for the small wedding ceremony, Aggie secretly makes arrangements for Tom to buy his share of the taxi, which arrives in time for him to drive her to their daughter's wedding. Uncle Winston has the last word ("Coney Island"):

"You paid your money, took the ride, but missed the view."

Song list

  • Partners — Tom Hurley, Sam, Ralph Halloran and Jane Hurley
  • Ralph and Me — Jane Hurley
  • Married — Aggie
  • Women Chatter — Myra, Pasha and Dolores
  • No Fuss — Aggie
  • Your Children's Happiness — Mr. Halloran and Mrs. Halloran
  • Immediate Family — Uncle Winston
  • Our Only Daughter — Aggie
  • Women Chatter 2 — Dolores, Pasha and Uncle Winston
  • One White Dress — Jane Hurley and Aggie
  • Vision — Aggie
  • Don't Ever Stop Saying "I Love You" — Jane Hurley and Ralph Halloran
  • I Stayed — Tom Hurley
  • Married (Reprise) — Aggie
  • Coney Island — Uncle Winston
  • Don't Ever Stop Saying "I Love You" (Reprise) — Ralph Halloran, Jane Hurley and Tom Hurley
  • Coney Island (Reprise) — Uncle Winston and Company

Roles and original cast


The Original Cast recording was recorded by PS Classics and was released on May 27, 2008.[6]

Critical response

A Catered Affair received mixed reviews.[7]

Ben Brantley for The New York Times, wrote: "From Mr. Bucchino’s trickling, self-effacing score to the tight-lipped stoicism of its leading performances, from David Gallo’s tidy tenement-scape set to Zachary Borovay’s tentative photographic projections, this show is all pale, tasteful understatement that seems to be apologizing for asking for your attention... Ms. Prince, best known for her madcap musical turns in revivals of Guys and Dolls and Bells Are Ringing, scrubs down to raw-skinned plainness here. Her performance is tight, disciplined and at times quite affecting, never more so than when Aggie looks silently at some distant horizon of missed opportunities."[8]

Clive Barnes, reviewing for the New York Post, wrote: "Under John Doyle's expert, discreet direction, it emerges less like a musical and more like a play with music: lovely, urban chamber music. But you won't come out humming the tunes, or even the scenery. You'll come out humming the characters."[9]

But Linda Winer, for Newsday, wrote: "How bold to make a Broadway musical on such restrained material as A Catered Affair. How sad that the results are so glum. Despite the dedication of a fine cast...this is a colorless little piece of '50s social realism about a Bronx family that isn't so much emotionally repressed as emotionally deficient." She panned the "meandering, conversational melodies ba[c]ked by innocuous accompaniments", and the "tasteful but bland production", and concluded: "Winston, who wants the big wedding, observes, 'Resigning oneself to small is sad. Requesting it is tragic.' He could be talking about the show."[10]

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

Year Award ceremony Category Nominee Result
2008 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Tom Wopat Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical Faith Prince Nominated
Best Orchestrations Jonathan Tunick Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Harvey Fierstein Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Faith Prince Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Tom Wopat Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Leslie Kritzer Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical John Doyle Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Jonathan Tunick Nominated
Outstanding Music John Bucchino Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Nominated
Outstanding Set Design David Gallo Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Ann Hould-Ward Nominated
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection and Video Design]] Zachary Borovay Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Musical Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Faith Prince Nominated
Drama League Award Outstanding New Broadway Musical Won
Distinguished Production of a Musical Won


  1. ^ playbill.com article, March 25, 2008 Archived April 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Gans, Andrew. "The Party's Over: A Catered Affair Closes on Broadway July 27" Archived July 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, July 27, 2008.
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Annual Drama Desk Awards Will Be Presented May 18" Playbill, May 18, 2008
  4. ^ A Catered Affair rnh.com, accessed October 5, 2016
  5. ^ "Drama Desk 2008 Award winners announced" newyorktheatreguide.com, May 19, 2008, accessed October 5, 2016
  6. ^ playbill article, April 7, 2008 Catered Affair Cast Preserves Bucchino Score April 7 Archived May 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Gold Derby column, Los Angeles Times, O'Neil, Tom, April 22, 2008 Retrieved May 4, 2008
  8. ^ The New York Times, Brantley, Ben, April 18, 2008 Retrieved May 4, 2008
  9. ^ New York Post, Barnes, Clive, April 18, 2008 Retrieved May 4, 2008
  10. ^ Newsday, Winer, Linda, April 18, 2008 Retrieved May 28, 2008

External links

62nd Tony Awards

The 62nd Tony Awards ceremony was held on June 15, 2008. The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards, recognize achievement in live American theatre. CBS television broadcast the event from Radio City Music Hall in New York City as it has since the 51st Awards ceremony in 1997. The event recognized Broadway productions playing during the 2007 – 2008 season and was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.The cut-off date for eligibility in the 2007–08 season was May 7, 2008. The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced eligibility rules for many of the award categories. Two new categories debuted at this ceremony: Best Sound Design of a Musical and Best Sound Design of a Play.The Tony Award nominations were announced on May 13, 2008 by David Hyde Pierce and Sara Ramirez. In the Heights, which premiered Off-Broadway, garnered the most nominations of any show with 13. Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific received 11, the second most of any revival to date (one of these was in the new "sound design" category). The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County earned seven nominations. The revival of Sunday in the Park With George received nine nominations, the revival of Gypsy received seven, as did the new musical Passing Strange.

The "Visa Signature Tonys Preview Concert" was taped at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 11, 2008 and broadcast on CBS television affiliates in June. The concert featured performances from 10 Tony-eligible musicals as well as interviews with Tony nominees. This television show received a nomination for a New York Emmy Award in the Best Special Event Coverage category; the Awards were presented on March 29, 2009.

AdPack USA

AdPack USA is a New York-based tissue-pack marketing company. Founded in 2004, AdPack USA is the North American subsidiary of Japan's Itochu Corporation, a division of Itochu International, a Fortune 500 company.

Ann Hould-Ward

Ann Hould-Ward (born April 8, 1954 in Glasgow, Montana) is an American costume designer, primarily for the theatre and dance. She has designed the costumes for 19 Broadway productions (as of February 2011). She won the 1994 Tony Award for Beauty and the Beast.

Bernard Telsey

Bernard Telsey (b. February 8, 1960) is a casting director and co-founder of MCC Theater. In the 1980s, he began working for Simon & Kumin Casting as an assistant, then a casting director at Risa Bramon & Billy Hopkins Casting. Shows his company has cast include (Broadway) Rent, Wicked, In the Heights, South Pacific, Hairspray, Rock of Ages, Equus, Legally Blonde, A Catered Affair, The Homecoming, Talk Radio, November, Grey Gardens, The Color Purple, The Rocky Horror Show, All Shook Up, Tarzan, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, (Off-Broadway) reasons to be pretty, 50 Words, Almost an Evening, and De La Guarda. He has cast for several theatre companies including the Atlantic Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, New York Theatre Workshop, Drama Dept, ACT in San Francisco, La Jolla Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, and Goodman Theatre. Films cast include Rachel Getting Married, Sex and the City, Margin Call, Across the Universe, Dan in Real Life, Pieces of April, Rent.Rent established Telsey as someone who casts unconventional shows, which got him assigned to cast The Capeman. He is notable for discovering Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, and Jesse L. Martin.Telsey has also served for seven years as the New York Vice-President of the Casting Society of America.

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music is an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The award was originally entitled Best Composter, before being renamed to its current title in 1969. The award is often referred to as Outstanding Score of a Musical.

† - indicates the performance won the Tony Award

‡ - indicates the performance was also nominated for the Tony Award

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design is an annual award presented by The Drama Desk Organization in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions.

Faith Prince

Faith Prince (born August 6, 1957) is an American actress and singer, best known for her work on Broadway in musical theatre. She won the Tony Award as Best Actress in Guys and Dolls in 1992, and received three other Tony nominations.

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Forbes Fierstein ( FIRE-steen; born June 6, 1954) is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein has won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy (about a gay drag-performer and his quest for true love and family) and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He also wrote the book for the musical La Cage aux Folles, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.

Heather MacRae

Heather MacRae (born October 5, 1946) is an American actress known for her role in the Woody Allen 1972 comedy film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask).She has also appeared in several television roles, including parts in Starsky and Hutch, Frasier, and The Sopranos and as the judge who marries Miranda and Steve in an outdoor ceremony on Sex and the City.

In 1979, she appeared in a singing role in Robert Altman's film A Perfect Couple.

A veteran of the Broadway stage, she has appeared in Hair, A Catered Affair, and Falsettos.She is the daughter of motion picture, stage and television stars Sheila MacRae and Gordon MacRae.She is the sister of the late Meredith MacRae, co-star of the long running CBS Television 1960s sitcom Petticoat Junction.

Ingrid Cole

Ingrid Cole is an Atlanta, Georgia actor with the American Musical Theatre. In 2010 and 2012, she was honored with The Suzi Bass Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for A Catered Affair at the Aurora Theatre, and for her portrayal of Rose in Gypsy with the Atlanta Lyric Theatre Atlanta GA. She has toured the US extensively with Menopause the Musical.Other credits include See What I Want to See (Suzi Bass Best Ensemble and Atlanta Theatre Fan Winner) Music Man, Grand Night for Singing, Call Me Madam, Ragtime, Pirates of Penzance, Motherhood the Musical, The Mikado, A Funny Thing Happened…Forum, and Nunsense with Dan Goggin.Cole is also a soloist at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and is a member of Actors' Equity Association.

John Bucchino

John Bucchino (born 1943) is an American songwriter of both lyrics and music, an accompanist, a cabaret performer, and a teacher based in New York City. He has been called "super-talented". Stephen Schwartz said his songs have "insightful lyrics and gorgeous melodies", "rich harmonic textures and subtle…inner voicings." His music has "beautiful intricacies."Bucchino is an "out" gay composer, included in the Queer Songbook, and interviewed in LGBT publications. His songs are frequently performed by gay men's choruses. He contributed to a number of gay-themed collections, including Feeding the flame. Songs by men to end AIDS (1990), A love worth fighting for and Winter Moon, both "a celebration of gay and lesbian singers and songwriters" (1995), and The gay 90's (1997).

John Doyle (director)

John Doyle (born 1953) is a Scottish stage director of musicals and plays, as well as operas. He has served as artistic director at several regional theatres in the United Kingdom, where he has staged more than 200 professional productions during his career spanning over 40 years. For his 2005 Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, he won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award.

Since 2016, he serves as Artistic Director of the off-Broadway theater Classic Stage Company, located in the East Village in New York City.

Leslie Kritzer

Leslie Kritzer (born May 24, 1977) is an American singer and musical theatre actress.

The Catered Affair

The Catered Affair (1956), also known as Wedding Party, is a family drama film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by Richard Brooks and produced by Sam Zimbalist from a screenplay by Gore Vidal, based on a television play by Paddy Chayefsky. The film score was by André Previn and the cinematography by John Alton.

The film stars Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald and Rod Taylor. It was Taylor's first film for MGM after having been signed by the studio to a long-term contract.

Thomas Hurley

Thomas Hurley may refer to:

Thomas Hurley (ice hockey)

Tom Hurley, character in A Catered Affair

Thomas Hurly of the Hurly Baronets

Tommy Hurley, see 2009 Toronto Rock season

Tom Wopat

Thomas Steven Wopat (born September 9, 1951) is an American actor and singer. He first achieved fame as Lucas K. "Luke" Duke on the long-running television action/comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard. Since then, Wopat has worked regularly, most often on the stage in musicals and in supporting television and movie roles. He was a semi-regular guest on the 1990s comedy series Cybill, and had a small role as U.S. Marshal Gil Tatum in Django Unchained (2012). Wopat also has a recurring role as Sheriff Jim Wilkins on the television series Longmire. Additionally, Wopat has recorded several albums of country songs and pop standards, scoring a series of moderately successful singles in the 1980s and 1990s.

Tony Award for Best Orchestrations

The Tony Award for Best Orchestrations is awarded to acknowledge the contributions of musical orchestrators in both musicals and plays. The award has been given since 1997.

Walter Kerr Theatre

The Walter Kerr Theatre is a Broadway theatre. Located at 219 West 48th Street, it is owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theaters. One of the smaller auditoriums in the Theater District, it seats 975. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp for the Shubert family, it operated as the Ritz Theatre from 1921 to 1990, when it was renamed for playwright and critic Walter Kerr.

Zachary Borovay

Zachary Borovay is a projection and multi-media designer working primarily in Broadway, Off Broadway, US regional and international performance venues.

His recent credits include projection design for the Broadway production of Rock of Ages (also Las Vegas, London, Australia, Toronto, Norwegian Cruise Lines and more), "Holler If Ya Hear Me," "No Man's Land" and "Waiting For Godot" with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, "Evita," Elf and Lombardi (2011 Drama Desk nomination) on Broadway, PEEPSHOW at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon at Universal Studios Hollywood, To Be Or Not To Be (Broadway), A Catered Affair (Broadway, for which he earned a 2008 Drama Desk nomination for best video or projection design) and Xanadu (Broadway, International Tour). Regional credits include projections for the national tour of Les Misérables, Jason Robert Brown's 13 at the Mark Taper Forum and NERDS for the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Internationally he designed video projections for Voyage de la Vie at RWS Resorts in Sentosa, Singapore, the Dutch version of the hit musical The Wiz as well as a number of concerts at the Barbican Centre in London. He designed projections for the Radio City Music Hall 75th Anniversary Christmas Spectacular. He is also known for his work as a journalist and educator, and is a contributing editor to LiveDesign magazine, for whom he has acted as Creative Consultant for LDI and the Broadway Master Classes.

In addition to his work as a visual artist, Borovay is also a formally trained musician, having studied jazz bass at both Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory of Music.

Borovay worked with United Scenic Artists, a union which represents theatrical crafts such as scenic, lighting and costume design, to create a new category for projection designers. In addition to his membership with USA829, he is a member of the Associated Crafts and Technicians union. He maintains a website containing news, bio and his portfolio at borovaydesign.com.

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