"It's tough having a cast party when there's only one man in the cast," said host Tom Cochran, who had one anyway.

It was at Joe and Mo's restaurant on Connecticut Avenue, and it was for John Daniel Reaves, who stood alone on stage at the New Playwrights' Theater for close to two hours playing "The Kingfish," who is modeled on Huey Long.

Cochran, whose offstage voice opened the show, decided that despite the small cast "it takes a lot of people to put a show together," and added, looking around, "They're all here with their friends."

It was not the gala usually associated with an opening night, but it was sincere and a bit louder as over 75 people came into the restaurant.

"The Kingfish," a two-act play written by Larry King and Ben Grant and produced by Barbara Blaine, opened quietly before a packed 125 seats of audience last night.

To transport the cast of one along with the co-authors, a 1928 Lincoln was rented. It was in excellent condition except for the clock, which had stopped some years ago at 12:10.

Reaves didn't mind the size of the theater, but he complained about its lack of amenities: "When I had to go to the bathroom I really had to go. I went backstage and there is no bathroom."

"We'll take care of that," said producer Blaine. "We're going to get him a bottle to wear in keeping with the elegance of the theater."

Cheryl King, Larry's daughter and a professional carpenter, worked on the sets and thought they were lovely.

"About the play, I liked it," she said. "The audience was friendly. I wonder, when the critics see it, I wonder if they ever sneak in before their night."

Dawn Grant, wife of co-author Ben Grant, sat at the bar and worried about her son, who'd been left with a babysitter from the hotel.

"He's only a month old," she said, "and I worried about him during the whole performance.

"I have confidence in my husband. He co-authored the play and he can surely take care of himself."

Later she sent her mother home to take over, so she could enjoy the party.