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Samuel J Friedman Theatre

The Columnist

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The Columnist, Samuel J Friedman Theatre, NYC Show Poster
Samuel J Friedman Theatre

261 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10036

2hrs, 15mins
1 Intermission
Minimum age is 4 years old. Child must have a ticket.
Important Dates
Apr 04, 2012
Apr 25, 2012
Jul 08, 2012
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John Lithgow stars in the world premiere of David Auburn's drama.


Cheers! Cocktails, Candles & Grits Keep Margaret Colin Feeling ‘Fabulous’ Backstage at <i>The Columnist</i>


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What Is the Story of The Columnist?
Power, influence, changing the course of history: It’s all in a day’s work for political pundit and Cold War enthusiast Joseph Alsop, who has made a name for himself via a widely syndicated column in the early 1960s. Known equally for his brash temper and impeccable taste, Alsop has a knack for uncovering the secrets of the dignitaries, presidents and socialites he writes about. But when an explosive personal secret the scribe has been hiding all his life is ready to blow, Alsop must question his place in the world, professionally and personally.

Critics’ Reviews

Under Daniel Sullivan’s unerring direction, John Lithgow delivers a riveting turn in the title role of this crackling entertainment. The mercurial actor can go from flashing rage through wounded pride to glittering charm without breaking a sweat.

Review by Erik Haagensen from Backstage

Outfitted by costumer Jess Goldstein in the WASP uniform of bow tie, natty suits and owlish horn-rimmed glasses, with his ever-present cigarette holder trailing a curl of smoke, Lithgow is a magnetic central figure, imbuing the role with rich humor that offsets Joe’s more questionable behavior.

Review by David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Columnist Like?
Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn (Proof) takes a humorous, poignant look at the life and work of Joseph Alsop, one of mid-century America's most beloved, feared and influential political commentators. Starring Tony and Emmy winner John Lithgow in the title role, The Columnist touches on Vietnam War, World War II and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as seen through the Alsop's writing, which flashes in big type across the stage. At its core, The Columnist is an intense drama delving into the fabric of each of its main characters, including Stephen Kunken as journalist David Halberstam, Tony winner Boyd Gaines as Joseph’s brother Stewart and Margaret Colin as Susan Alsop. The result is theater that captures a moment in time with a ripped-from-the-headlines feel. 

Is The Columnist Good for Kids?
The Columnist is packed with tongue-twisting dialogue and political jargon that kids will not understand. While exploring themes of sexuality, The Columnist also features a scene of two men in bed. Older teens and young adults will be highly engaged by the sharp storytelling and headline worthy performances of The Columnist.