Henry Jaglom is Just 45 Minutes from Broadway

Tanna Frederick and Henry Jaglom at “45 Minutes from Broadway” screening.

We’ve followed his work for years and have seen most of his films. They are that good. This independent filmmaker creates cinema that is slightly off the beaten track and always enjoyable, at least to us. There are usually laughs, even if they are behind some serious agendas. That being said, the same rings true in his newest film, 45 Minutes from Broadway, about a dysfunctional theatrical family.

This theater junkie caught the play with the same name at theEdgemarCenterfor the Arts two years ago. At a recent screening, Jaglom gathered his cast for an informal Q&A. Each cast member was re-hired from the play, with the exception of the leading man. Judd Nelson took over.

He and Henry have been friends for 25 years. Henry sent Judd the script for the play as he was writing it. Said the former Brat-Packer, “I didn’t want to tell him it was something that I didn’t want to do. I loved the role, but didn’t want to be the guy who replaced the guy who didn’t make it to the film.”

Henry added, “This can only be explained by one person who manipulated Judd to do this in the first place — Tanna Frederick,” who said, ”I don’t know what you’re talking about.” From where we sit, this must be usual banter between the two, as Tanna is Henry’s leading lady both onscreen and off.

Apparently Tanna convinced Judd to do one of Henry’s stage play readings in front of an audience. “He was brilliant.” She then convinced him to consider the movie. “He’s an amazing leading man, a joy to work with and funny.”

In his trademark hat and casual style, Jaglom took the mike, even though The Jewish Journal’s Naomi Pfefferman-Magid was the official moderator.

“My editor Rob Vignone realized that we had something very interesting on our hands from the play. Not only did we have a film; we had a staged version of the film. It became exciting to me to illustrate this point that Tanna’s character says, ‘I don’t know if I am acting or this is real life.’ I know this is true for many actors and many people.”

Although the film takes place on the East Coast, it was filmed here. Said Tanna, “It was an awesome house in Topanga. This guy built it in the seventies by hand and there was a lot of love behind it.”

It was a personal story. Henry added, “My brother and I are represented in this film by the two kids. It is my way of getting even.” He talked about family dynamics and the fact that they get along very well these days.

The cast includes Julie Davies, Diane Salinger, Jack Heller, David Proval, and Harriet Schock.  Songbird Andrea Marcovicci, a former Jaglom love onscreen and off, was in the audience. That says a lot about the man.

Sue Facter owns a news agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Women’s Day Australia, as well as on broadcasts and the web. Follow her on Twitter @TheFacter.

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