Who doesn’t love a program goof?
Yeah, most of us sane people toss or recycle the playbills/theater programs that give us background on the play and performers we’re about to see. Extra paper, and we’re here to watch, not read, who needs it, right?
Theater geek – and reference fiend that I am, I keep mine and often study them at intermission or in preparation for these oh-so-rich posts. It can occasionally be fun to see how rather famous performers and designers tend to address their celebrity in print. I’ve seen program biographies that gush on for literally three pages and others of very well known people that supply a few lines of credits only. Sometimes people put one or two jokey lines in.
The program for “Freud’s Last Session” with Judd Hirsch and Tom Cavanagh which I recently reviewed at the Broad Stage, contains a single sheet insert labeled as a “program addendum.” When someone is shelling out for extra paper like this, it often means that the original program left something out that, contractually speaking, should have been included. I often read these as well.
Except in the case of “Last Session,” my hunch is that they created a program addendum because of what was accidentally inserted into the original program: namely a line at the end of Tom Cavanagh’s biography.
After listing his credits in plays like “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “A Chorus Line,” Cabaret”, the TV series “Ed” and “Scrubs,” Cavanagh (or whoever wrote his bio) talked about the fact that he’s a native of Canada, played varsity ice hockey and graduated with degrees in English, Biology and Education. He concludes with a line that is either a father face-planting attempt at humor or an addendum-worthy “oops…”
“He is proud to be part of Judd Hirsch’s acting debut.”
“Acting debut?” Judd Hirsch?
I’m thinking maybe someone meant to write “Judd Hirsch’s Broad Stage debut.” Otherwise that must have been someone else with the same name doing a very good impersonation for the last nearly 40 years in “The Law” and “George and Leo,” winning Emmys for “Taxi” and Tony awards for “Conversations for my Father” and “I’m not Rappoport.”
Movies too..."A Beautiful Mind," "Independence Day," "Running on Empty," "Tower Heist."
Hirsch was nominated for an Oscar for 1980’s “Ordinary People.” He played a psychiatrist to Timothy Hutton who, alas, beat Hirsch out for the 1980 Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Hirsch’s bio says “Judd was nominated for an Oscar for his iconic performance as Tim Hutton’s psychiatrist in the Academy Award-nominated feature ‘Ordinary People.’” Very true, the film was nominated for an Oscar. It also won. Four times. Including Best Picture.
Anyhow, he’s back playing a very different kind of psychiatrist, and he’s easily the best thing about “Freud’s Last Session” which this particular critic didn’t especially love. Check out my review for Backstage.
And if you happen across a classic program goof or line, pass it on.