The next 'Affair' will celebrate at the Kerr


NEW YORK -- It'll be the Walter Kerr Theatre where the upcoming "A Catered Affair" -- with direction by John Doyle, book by Harvey Fierstein and score by John Bucchino -- will begin previewing March 25, after a run at San Diego's Old Globe in September. That title, by the way, has been slightly altered from what Paddy Chayefsky called his original teleplay, which was "The Catered Affair." That's the same handle used by MGM for its 1956 film version with Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Barry Fitzgerald and Debbie Reynolds. But, as Fierstein says, "That title always struck me as wrong. It's much more about 'a' catered affair, one personal wedding party which is the catalyst for everything which follows." And joining Fierstein, Faith Prince, Tom Wopat and Leslie Kritzer in the roles once played by Fitzgerald, Davis, Borgnine and Reynolds will be Matt Cavenaugh, last seen on Broadway in "Grey Gardens" and, before that, as the lead in 2003's "Urban Cowboy." He'll be playing the role of the bridegroom-to-be, played in the movie by Rod Taylor. As for the Walter Kerr on West 48th, if its walls could talk! Formerly the Ritz and opened in 1921, its stage has been stomped on by everyone from Lynn Fontanne m the 1920s to Lauren Bacall in 1999-2000, including a beginner named Bette Davis in 1929 and a show called "Soon" in 1971 which marked the Broadway debuts of Richard Gere, Peter Allen and Nell Carter (with Barry Bostwick also in the cast). It's also where Parts 1 and 2 of "Anges in America" played in the 1990s, also Martin McDonagh's "The Beauty Queen of Leenane and, in 2000, David Auburn's "Proof" . . . Brian Stokes Mitchell, along with Reba McIntire and Alec Baldwin, helped add to Carnegie Hall's fabled history when they did the 2005 concert staging there of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1949 classic "South Pacific." Come Oct. 15, Mitchell will be returning to that same famous Hall of Andrew Carnegie -- the most-desired destination of every musician -- for what will be Mitchell's debut there as a solo artist . . . The Manhattan Theatre Club has announced some interesting offerings that'll open before this year ends including Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham in Theresa Rebeck's "Mauritius," opening at the Biltmore Oct. 4; Robert Foxworth and Josh Charles heading the cast of Adam Bock's "The Receptionist," which world premieres at the City Center's Stage One on Oct. 30 . . . My niftiest movie surprise of the summer, so far: "The Simpsons Movie" -- this from someone (am I the only one?) not previously immersed in all things Barted or Homered. It's the first movie since "Best in Show" that I've wanted to immediately sit through a second time . . . The biggest summer disappointment so far: "The Bourne Ultimatum." I know, I know, the boxoffice has been great (I contributed to it) and Matt Damon is definitely first-class but the nonstop, jerky, irrtating hand-held camera work by Oliver Wood, coupled with the overly frenetic editing by Christopher Rouse (no moment seems to last more than five frames tops) makes this, in my opinion, the least satisfying, most headache-inducing "Bourne" to date. I had hoped, after Chapters One and Two, this franchise might go on forever. Now I am more than willing for Jason Bourne, like an old soldier, to fade away.