Every day is opening night.

“A Heart Full of Love”

A tale of two Elaines.


Ladies and gents,

This is a tale of two wildly different ladies who have two things in common: they are both named Elaine and they are both New York treasures.

Roth v. Stritch

Last night Jujamcyn Theaters prexy Jordan Roth interviewed theater legend (and my dear pal) Elaine Stritch as part of Roth’s “Broadway Talks” conversation series at the 92nd Street Y, and it seems that Stritchie finally met her match. They kibitzed for about 90 minutes about everything from her career on the stage to her well documented battle with diabetes to her love life. Roth’s research was, as it always is, impeccable, and his questions were probing. No matter the topic at hand, though, Stritchie seemed to always want to bring the conversation back to the cruel inhumanity of the 8-show-per-week Broadway schedule. She is currently starring in A Little Night Music, opposite Bernadette (no last name required), and it’s clear that, while she’s enjoying the gig, she’d enjoy it a whole lot more if she could skip the matinees. It seemed as though the main reason she agreed to participate in the chat was to try to convince Roth (who may be the only man alive with the power to change the standard Broadway playing schedule) to pull a few strings on her behalf. Well, considering he’s the landlord of the Walter Kerr Theatre, where Night Music is playing, I wouldn’t count on it!

Farewell to a friend

What can one say about Elaine Kaufman that hasn’t already been said? She was in so many ways the ultimate New Yorker. A paradox wrapped in a moo-moo: at once the most welcoming hostess and the fiercest gatekeeper. I loved her, even though we had many spats over the years. She had me banned from her iconic boîte for much of the nineties, stemming from a column I wrote that contained a few negative words about Robert Altman’s 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter. She was fiercely loyal to Altman, and as a result I instantly became persona non grata. Years later, when I showed up at the memorial for George Plimpton not knowing whether I’d be welcomed back or publicly humiliated, Elaine gave me a huge hug and whispered, “Thank you for being here. I’ve missed you.” Little known fact: I often address people as “kiddo” in letters and emails, which is an affectation I picked up from Elaine herself (who once told me, “’Kiddo’ is the perfect term to use when you can’t remember someone’s name.”) It has served me well!

Tidbits from around town:

Spotted Sean Hayes waiting in line at the post office on W. 42nd Street with a huge stack of Christmas cards.

Witnessed former wrestler/politico Jesse Ventura shopping for a humidifier at Bed, Bath and Beyond. “Jesse, did you move to New York?” “Hell no! This is for my hotel room. It’s dryer than Death Valley in there!”

As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!