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These days, lots of panels and parties are held to raise interest in the Broadway shows nominated for a Tony. Among them is Mike Nichols’ “Death of a Salesman”, produced by Scott Rudin and starring Philip Seymour Hofman. A discussion panel on the play, which has held yesterday, was hosted by Meryl Streep. Here’s more informtion courtesy the New York Post: The press wasn’t admitted. The Broadway League has some silly bugaboo about press coverage of the roadies. I suppose the League fears we might find out just how shaky the road is these days, what with so many mediocre shows flying around out there. Ted Chapin, chairman of the American Theatre Wing, was announced as the moderator. But – surprise, surprise! – Meryl Streep came onstage to a five-minute standing ovation. (Rudin’s produced several of her movies, including “Doubt” and “The Hours.”) Streep moderated the panel and asked some pointed and insightful questions. She wondered, for instance, if any of the actors ever “steal” from other actors, adding: “I do all the time, but only from men!” Of Nichols she said: “There have been many times, Mike, in our working relationship when I wished I were Diane Sawyer. But never more so than now.” Hoffman admitted that playing a role such as Willy Loman takes over your life. “You wake up, you’re Willy Loman,” he said. “You go to lunch, you’re Willy Loman. You go to dinner, you’re Willy Loman. You’re Willy Loman all the time.” To prevent the play from taking over their lives completely, Garfield told the crowd, the cast goes out every night after the show to “reconnect.” Nichols said he swings by the theater at least once a week to see the play. “Very often you have to do what I call ‘killing babies,’” he said. “You have to take an actor aside and say, ‘You know that part where you come in and say, “Hello,” and then pirouette around the stage? I think you should go back to just saying “Hello.”’ I don’t have to do that with this cast.” I’m told every single road voter attended the “Salesman” event, which should sew it up nicely for the show on Tony night. Many thanks to Glenn and Holly for the heads-up.