In the midst of rehearsals for her latest Broadway play, famous but troubled actor Myrtle Gordon witnesses the sudden death of an adoring young fan. Struck by this tragedy, she descends a dark path of self-destruction as she struggles with her fear of aging. As opening night approaches, Myrtle becomes increasingly disturbed and looks set to sabotage the performance.
John Cassavetes’ Opening Night approaches the Hollywood theme of the aging-diva melodrama (as shown in All About Eve) with a more dramatic insight into Myrtle’s inner turmoil. By casting his wife Gena Rowlands in the lead role and himself as her lover, Cassavetes explores the blurred lines between performance and reality.