After a week of previews, tomorrow night the Dallas Theater Center officially debuts its revisal of the 1966 Broadway smash flop musical It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's Superman! -- maybe you've heard. And, as I noted, Patrick Cassidy reprises the role of villainous Max Mencken originally played by his famous father Jack; said Patrick during one of our interviews last month, "This is not only my chance to do a really terrific part for me as an actor, but it's also a chance for me to pay homage to my dad." Which brings me to this.
The great Josh Alan Friedman, author and musician and occasional Observer contributor and New York native, forwarded a letter he sent to Patrick earlier this week.
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Perhaps the most unforgettable, out of a thousand Broadway moments, was watching Jack in the original Superman in 1966, when I was 10 years old. The first B'way show for me and my brothers. I remember his performance vividly, and the brilliant cast album has been a private favorite ever since. So Sunday night, I took my own 10-year-old daughter to Dallas Theater Center -- to see you recreate the old man's role. Now, nobody was as great as your father onstage -- a matter that became irrelevant as you soared in the part yourself. So we saw in you a giant reflection of Jack, plus another dimension all your own. The beat goes on.
The Dallas production deserves a move uptown to 45th St., between B'way & 8th. (But it would take a Max Mencken himself to smooth out those Superman rights issues.) Meanwhile, it was an emotional evening where generations merged, both for you and myself. Great job!
Josh Alan Friedman