Every day is opening night.

“Ain’t Got No Grass”

Frankie Hyman and Woody Harrelson pal around at the opening night party for Bullet for Adolf.

Ladies and gents,

Having spent a few summers covering theater in New York City during the late 60’s and early 70’s, the very notion of Off-Broadway used to terrify me.  Once, while on assignment for the Herald-Tribune in late July of 1968, I was forced to spend several hours in an un-air-conditioned black box on St. Marks Place watching four unshaven performers of various genders and body types playing mahjong in the nude while chanting about fair wages.   I vowed never to see theater in a house of less than 600 seats again.

Well, a lot has changed since 1968 (including my own body type), and now Off Broadway draws large scale production values and A-list talent.  So with only the faintest whiff of trepidation, I ventured to New World Stages – one of Off Broadway’s most sanitized and centrally located venues (perfect for the faint of heart)—to attend the opening night of Bullet for Adolf.  None other than Hollywood hot-shot Woody Harrelson served as co-writer and director, and by this point you’ve already heard the back-story between him and writing partner and longtime buddy Frankie Hyman.  If you haven’t, you really ought to subscribe to a newspaper or buy a television set, because those two have been everywhere telling the tale of the summer they shared in 1983, how they lost touch, and how Jay Leno helped them finally reunite in 1993, before finally setting down to write this play about that first summer they shared in 1983.

When I arrived, I saw my old friend and mentor Cindy Adams there chatting with Woody by the entrance to the theater.   The atmosphere was celebratory (to say the least) as the eclectic (to say the least) first night crowd mingled and sucked back libations in the lobby well-past the scheduled curtain time.  Eventually the show  started, and I spent the next two hours laughing my head off.  The play is a broadly comedic kaleidoscopic mash-up of big themes like friendship, lust, and betrayal as examined through the hazy, ecstatic lens of youth.

I must admit I didn’t last long at the after party, for I was hungry and the food was (per Woody’s specific request) entirely vegan.  What can I say?  I enjoy animal products.

Tidbits from around town…

Spotted Broadway’s newest leading man, Mike Tyson, literally spinning in circles through Shubert Alley while giggling on his cell phone.

Overheard Countess Luann de Lesseps raving about Tracie Bennett’s performance in End of the Rainbow over cocktails at Lantern’ Keep.  (Editorial sidenote: this is your last week to see End of the Rainbow.  If you will be in or around the tri-state area and you miss Bennett’s dazzling portrayal of Judy Garland, you are an idiot and I demand that you stop reading my columns immediately.)

Witnessed Dr. Sanjay Gupta at the Last Smoker In America-hosted “Smoke-In/Smoke-Out” leading the group in an anti-smoking chant, “Be a Quitter, Love Your Lungs,” mere feet away from longtime cigarette-lover Catherine Deneuve, who was holding a sign that said “Kiss My Ash!” and chanting, “Got a light?  We have rights!” while puffing away on a Gauloise (or three).

Caught funny lady Jan Hooks questioning a Bed, Bath, and Beyond employee about thread counts.

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