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‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ Is Back

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” again. It’s opened on Broadway this time. We revisit an American classic.

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly (AP)

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly (AP)

Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  He got Audrey Hepburn, and the rest is history.  The little black dress.  Moon River.  Elegant agonies.  Reinvention in New York.  Our American geisha.  An American classic.

Capote’s book was darker than the movie.  Sex for pay.  A frustrated gay narrator.  But the movie wasn’t all willowy glam either.  Not by a long shot.  Now it’s all back on stage, on Broadway.

This hour, On Point:  Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the book, the movie, the play, and in American imagination.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Sean Mathias, director of the current Broadway adaptation of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Ginia Bellafante, columnist and critic for the New York Times. (@ginianyt)

Stefanie Cohen, arts and entertainment writer for the Wall Street Journal. (@stefaniecohen)

From Tom’s Reading List

Broadway.com “In 1958, author Truman Capote was already a celebrity when he published his now-iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories. Capote declared that the titular novella launched the second cycle of his writing career, following the success of his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms.”

The New York Times “Hovering about Richard Greenberg’s new stage adaptation of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” like a beloved, chatty relative who doesn’t know when it’s time to go home is the memory of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the 1961 movie. When the lights go down at the Cort Theater, where the show began previews on Monday, you expect her to sweep in any second, tall and swanlike, wearing her sunglasses and little black Givenchy dress and waving that ridiculous, yardlong cigarette holder.”

New York Post “Fur’s flying backstage at ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’ We hear Vito Vincent, the orange cat who stars in the Broadway show, is now negotiating (through his owner) with producers to get a car and driver each night. Meanwhile his understudy, Montie, has been sacked for being ‘unruly,’ a spy says.”

Cory Michael Smith and Emilia Clarke in the new play, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Cory Michael Smith and Emilia Clarke in the new play, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

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  • brettearle

    Audrey Hepburn IS Holly Golightly.

    “Though shalt have no other Hollys before Ye.”

    • JobExperience

      Agreed
      Can you imagine Keira Knightly in the film version?
      Yuck.

  • JobExperience

    Breakfast Is Back!!!
    Do they have a drivethru and a dollar menu with calorie listings.
    This material is so dated it may not be accessible any longer.
    Gayness looks radically different today.
    And jewelry has become far more crass and degenerate in its import.
    Is Holly pierced and tatted?

    • JobExperience

       Wait…wait. A David Lynch version might be good.
      When Buddy Ebsen (her old man) shows up he could come straight from Twin Peaks with Eraserhead in the backseat. Damn Diane, that’s some excellent coffee, and some delicious pie. Make a note of that. Only Ann Hathaway could carry that off.

      • brettearle

         Ok, ok, if you insist on Reprise & Update:

        We’ll bring back Mickey Rooney.  And instead of a camera, he’ll use a Photo App from his IPad.

        And lose the Chinese stereotype….

  • Gregg Smith

    Props to Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.

    I never saw the movie but I have the sheet music for the song “Moon River”. It came from 1962 and is a solo piano version. It’s amazing. There are few harmonies and it consists of a single note melody in the left hand and the vocal line in the right. It’s absolutely perfect. I wish I could play it for ya’ll here.

    • brettearle

      First,

      Thanks for your kind comments, a thread, or two, ago.

      Coming from someone who doesn’t always agree with me, such praise carries more weight.

      I’ve decided to offer a Reward–wise guy that I am:

      In the future, I will let you win more often….

      Second,

      Having such sheet music and not seeing the Movie is like referring to a Cliff’s Notes version of the Bible, instead of the Good Book, itself.

      Shame.

      Herewith, you are banished from this thread–until you get to the point, in the Flick, when they look for the Cat. 

      So it shall be written; so it shall be done….

      • Gregg Smith

        You’re a hoot. 

        Not to take anything away from the rest of it but to my way of thinking the soundtrack of a movie is as big a part as the script; the songwriters contribute as much as the author. So, I don’t agree with the cliff notes analogy but you do have a good point. I am motivated to see the movie and will make an effort to do so… the original first.

        • J__o__h__n

          Read the book too.  It is really short.  I went on a Capote kick about eight years ago and read all of his works. 

    • Mike_Card

      I wore out a monaural 33 1/3 LP of the movie soundtrack.  Mancini can’t be beat.

  • hellokitty0580

    Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the best American characters ever. She’s an absolute delight because she does her thing and she tries to make her life happen for her regardless of what others think, and I believe that is what is so appealing about her. Who doesn’t want to try to live the life of their dreams? Holly doesn’t exactly achieve this, but that’s not the point. The point is she tries and she’s incredibly unique. She’s an absolute bon vivant and she’s certainly an inspiration to me having lived in New York City during my 20s.

  • numbercruncher1

    Saw the Play, its very different than the movie.  The Critics were harsh, because they were looking for the wrong story.  Holly (as Capote had her) was an aloof calculating girl (likely incapable of love), not the likeable woman that Hepburn played in the smash hit.  Although pleasant to look at Holly (Broadway) was not a character you will fall in love with, rather you may detest her.  But that is who Holly Golightly was in the book, it would have helped if some of the critics actually read the book.  In any case its an interesting show I suggest everyone see.

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