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About The Production

Principal photography began in June, 1997, on a rainy day in New York City. The Manhattan Day and Night School was the site chosen for the staging of "The Little Mermaid," a play presented by George's first­grade class. It was an apt beginning for Hytner, who has spent most of his professional life staging theatrical productions (including "Miss Saigon," and "Carousel," which earned him a Tony Award as Best Director).

Next, a townhouse in Gramercy Park was the site of Sydney Miller's (Alda) tasteful home, a direct contrast to the next location ­­ Coney Island.

Closing down the amusement park for two days, the cast and crew got its first taste of Jennifer Aniston's celebrity among New York City paparazzi, as she was swarmed each day by a dozen different photographers.

Among the subsequent locations were a reservoir in New Canaan, Connecticut (where a local rowing team provided an interesting river background), Manhattan College, and a beautiful waterfront home on Huntington Bay, Long Island.

The wedding of George's brother Frank (Steve Zahn) was filmed at the Chart House in Weehauken, New Jersey, with views across the Hudson River to the dazzling Manhattan skyline.

The Grove Restaurant and St. Luke's Church were two Greenwich Village landmarks used for filming, followed by a perfect summer day at the Central Park Zoo.

The Ethical Culture School on Central Park West became the rooftop site of the Brinkley School's Science Fair, supervised by George and his co­teacher Melissa (Kali Rocha). Coincidentally, Wendy Wasserstein had attended the Ethical Culture School branch as a young girl in Brooklyn.

Later, the production moved next door to a beautiful auditorium used by the Ethical Culture Society. It was a memorable day on two accounts. First, Wasserstein "cast" a stellar group of movie extras from among her play-writing colleagues. The scene, which featured Tim Daly and Nigel Hawthorne in a put­down of contemporary theatre, was highlighted by the presence of Alfred Uhry ("Driving Miss Daisy"), Christopher Durang ("Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All To You"), Tina Howe ("Painting Churches"), Peter Parnell ("Hyde In Hollywood") and Michael Weller ("Cancer: A Comedy").

An avant­garde production of "Romeo & Juliet" was Hytner and Wasserstein's humorous homage to off­off­Broadway theatre, and was staged at the CSV Cultural Center off Delancey Street.

Nina's brownstone apartment exteriors were found in Brooklyn, but all of the interiors of the apartment were built at the Fourteenth Street Armory, where the cast and crew moved for the last two weeks of filming.

One of production designer Jane Musky's tasks was to create Nina's two­bedroom Brooklyn apartment. The large kitchen was its centerpiece and the setting for many of the key sequences including an impromptu visit from Nina's relatives on one of the hottest days of the summer. With hot lights beating down on the cast and no air conditioning in the armory, it wasn't hard for the actors to experience the sweltering day described in the script.


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