It’s probably for the best that we weren’t welcome at the after-party last night for The Year of Magical Thinking opening. After a 95-minute monologue about grief, death, and more grief, who’s in the mood for cocktails and schmoozing? The small, pre-curtain reception at Sardi’s was enough, with its parade of Serious Actresses (and a few others) bowing before the equally legendary Vanessa Redgrave, who stars, and Joan Didion, who adapted the play from her book: Stockard Channing, Marian Seldes, Christine Baranski, Claire Danes, Michael Cunningham. “I wore waterproof mascara,” said Danes, who admitted she owns but hasn’t read the book. “I’m taking a few of these cocktails napkins with me,” echoed Channing. “But I think we’ll all be okay.”
Didion confessed jitters. “It’s the social aspect of opening night” that worried her, she said. She talked about future plans — a movie she’ll be doing with Scott Rudin — and her more immediate plans to read her reviews, pick up her apartment, and give Redgrave a big hug. After the show, the crowd gave the trio of Regrave, Didion, and director David Hare a deafening standing ovation. “It was tough, and it was wonderful,” said Dominick Dunne, Didion’s brother-in-law, after the show. “I’m happy I saw it. I’m happy that I cried.”
CORRECTION, March 30: Cynthia Nixon, Jane Krakowski, Marisa Tomei, Joan Rivers, Anna Deveare Smith, Jane Fonda, Bill Nighy, Pierce Brosnan and wife (escorted in and out of the theater, unnecessarily, by an NYPD squad), and Jenna Elfman (we don’t know how she got in either) were at the performance but not at Sardi’s, at this item initially stated.