It’s a good thing we got to see Bryan Batt at Authors Night Saturday. We haven’t seen him lately on AMC's “Mad Men.” Batt was signing his autobiographical book, “She’s Not Heavy, She’s My Mother.”
When when will his "Mad Men" character Sal Romano show up? “I hope soon,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking: So many people come up and ask. One day, I counted 38 people. Not this season. They told me I’m not dead. So, if there’s another season, there’s a possibility to see Sal again.”
In the East End, Batt likes to visit his longtime Broadway friends. He was a Great White Way fixture for years in such musicals as “La Cage Aux Folles,” “Starlight Express” and “Cats.” At Authors’ Night, he ran into Broadway producers, Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane, who have won five producing Tonys between them. Lane, who won four of those Tonys, authored "Let's Put on a Show!" -- a soup-to-nuts primer for would-be producers of everything from high school to community theater to regional. There seemed to be many hopefuls under the tent. "I've sold out," Lane told us. "I only have the DVDs left."
“They’re the greatest,” Batt said of the couple. “I sang for them when they got their Tree of Life Award.”
Batt said he likes to keep his Hamptons weekends simple and relaxing. “I don’t go for the big scene. I like hanging with my friends or going to the beach, grilling and having nice dinners with friends. Last night, we went to Sunset Beach. I felt like I was in St. Barts or the South of France.”
On Aug. 21, Batt will be hosting the "Roar for a Cure" Carnival and Benefit for Pediatric Cancer Research in East Hampton. In the fall, he’ll perform his one-man show, Batt on a Hot Tin Roof, at Feinstein's in Manhattan. He said he’s been tapped to be in the movie, “Sam,” the debut writing effort of Mel Brooks’ son, Ed.
”It was because of his father that I got cast,” said Batt. “I auditioned for ‘The Producers’ many times. Mel wanted me for the show. But some people thought I was too young for the role, Roger De Bris, whom my dear friend Gary Beach was playing.”
De Bris was the flaming, no-talent director hired for the musical within “The Producers” musical, “Springtime for Hitler.” “I really wanted to chime in one of the auditions and say, ‘Mediocrity knows no age!’“ he laughed. He didn't get the role, but Brooks didn’t forget him. “He told his son ‘that’s the guy,’" said Batt. "So they just called and offered me the part . I love when that happens. After years of treading the boards, auditioning and not getting it, when the phone rings and it’s an offer, that is manna from heaven!"