Ladies and gents,
Where was Woody Allen whilst Annie Hall herself was serenading him with a sweet-but-decidedly-loopy rendition of “Make New Friends” from the stage of the Golden Globes? The normally reclusive auteur was taking in the Broadway opening of Beautiful, the Carole King bio-musical penned by his friend and collaborator Doug McGrath. Where was I? The not-so-reclusive Scoop Verbena was at the same opening. Also in attendance? Jerry Seinfeld, Sting & Trudie Styler, Phil Collins, Darlene Love, Sara Bareilles, Clive Davis, Liza Minnelli, Nathan Lane, Billy Porter, Bernadette Peters, Hoda Kotb, NYC Police Chief Bill Bratton, and Thomas Roberts. It seems the only A-lister not in attendance was Carole King herself. Though other three main subjects of the show were there: Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, as well as King’s first love and writing partner Gerry Goffin.
The show is a sweetly rollicking good time — it hits all the right chords King’s iconic album Tapestry does, managing to be sentimental and earnest without being cloying, touching on longing and heartbreak without being maudlin. I can’t remember the last time I fell so head-over-heels with a leading lady as I have with the uber-talented Jessie Mueller. In-the-know theater fans have been quietly
raving about her for years, but this role is going to put her into the Broadway pantheon.
The after party at Cipriani 42nd Street, which remains one of the most glorious event spaces in New York, was fueled by a brilliant playlist of King, Goffin, Weil and Mann tunes covered by artists ranging from The Carpenters to aforementioned party-guest Darlene Love. When Love’s version of “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” came on, I saw her grab a stranger and shriek “This is me! They’re playing my
Tidbits from around town…
Caught legendary Jazz aficionado Kathryn Altman popping backstage after a recent performance of After Midnight (her second trip to the smash Broadway musical).
Overheard Stew chatting with Oskar Eustice at the David Rockwell-designed Library at The Public Theater, following Dan Hoyle’s solo show, The Real Americans, at Joe’s Pub.
Spotted casting god Bernie Telsey enjoying ribs at Blue Smoke in Battery Park City.
Shouted to Marilu Henner on West 50th Street, “What were you wearing on July 27, 1997?” “A chic Donna Karan pants suit, that I had to throw out after some idiot stabbed me with a fountain pen.”
Congratulations to Jess Cagle for his new role as Editor of People Magazine. He will be topping the massive weekly all while maintaining his role at Entertainment Weekly. As Diane Keaton might say, “Take new jobs, but keep the old…”
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!