Every day is opening night.

“A Tough Act to Follow”

Eve Ensler discusses her new play Emotional Creature.
Ladies and gents,

I’ve never handled change particularly well, and I tend to cling to relics from my past.  So you can imagine my sorrow over the closing of El Faro, which has been serving up reliable Spanish fare in the West Village since 1927 and has been one of my favorite haunts since the late 60’s.  Oh all the foggy, soggy memories of loud, sangria-soaked meals that stretched deep into early morning hours.  I recall one particularly rowdy evening, just after the release of The Long Goodbye, when Elliot Gould was holding court at a large table in the back. The table was mostly b-list movie actors and a few underworld characters.  And me.  After six or seven pitchers of sangria Gould came up with a foolproof plan to bust Clifford Irving out of prison, and was looking for volunteers to help him execute it.  By midnight he had convinced two actors and a professional bookie to join the plot, but when they woke up the next morning not a single one of them could remember the plan.  And Clifford Irving served his full sentence.

No El Faro devotee was more, well, devoted than legend-in-his-own-time Broadway press agent Richard Kornberg.  For him, El Faro wasn’t just a restaurant but a satellite office where he would wine and dine members of the media in the time-tested method of the Old School.  He credits the place with helping him land his clients “gallons and gallons of ink” over the years.  The kitchen staff used to joke that Kornberg (or “Lady K” to those who know him best) was personally responsible for half the chorizo consumption in the Tristate Area.

Well, $80,000 in Heath Department fines (for a total of 57 violations) later, another New York landmark goes missing.  One never left El Faro feeling particularly good, but nausea is fleeting.  The memories last a lifetime.

On Wednesday, I took in a matinee Emotional Creature Eve Ensler’s theatrical exploration of what it means to be a girl throughout the world.  The irresistible production features a wildly exuberant cast of six talented young ladies delivering a series of monologues and songs written to move and empower.  It feels as if a movement’s afoot.

Tidbits from around town…

Overheard Ed Asner telling Jessica Chastain “I bet you were an ugly child,” which she immediately copped to.  “But look at you now!” he followed up with.  (Cue: sighs of relief!)

Saw the Countess Luann de Lesseps backstage at Peter and the Starcatcher.  Apparently the gal just can’t stay away from men in pirate costumes, but her main man Jacques Azoulay was by her side and didn’t seem the least bit threatened!

Spotted Angela Lansbury comfortably situated in First Class on a United Flight to San Francisco. When the plane hit a particularly bumpy patch and the lady seated next to her began clutching her armrests, Ms. Lansbury turned to her very calmly and said, “You can relax, my dear.  Planes don’t go down due to bumps.”

Ran into none-other-than Lady Gaga at Tribeca’s Picnic Basket (formerly Jin Market), who was paying for a cup of java with mountains of change.  “Don’t international pop icons carry paper money?”  “Oh, Scoop, haven’t you heard?  The music biz ain’t what it used to be.”

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