Every day is opening night.

“Buenos Aires”

“Everyday Hero” Diane Pagan with stage hero Reeve Carney.


Ladies and Gents,

I’ve just winged back from an extended getaway to Buenos Aires, where I was having some cutting edge medical procedures to fix my deviated septum and also on the hunt for a gaucho guapo to keep me company. The surgery: a success! The gaucho hunt: a failure. Well, I recovered and made it back to the Big Apple just in time for the post-Labor Day rush of affairs.

This time of year always makes my head spin, as Fashion Week intermingles with the social season kicking off as the theater openings start all over again. It’s almost too much for a socialite-of-a-certain age to keep up with!

Why not?

One event I knew I couldn’t miss was the opening night of At Home At The Carlyle: Elaine Stritch Singin’ Sondheim…Again. Why Not? Don’t let the characteristically sardonic title fool you: Ms. Stritch does not take this assignment lightly! The show is a love letter to, not just the work of Mr. Sondheim, but to the man himself. So at home is she at the Café Carlyle, that the great master allows us to watch a little of her process. If she fumbled a lyric, she would back up and take that part again. Watching her and musical director Rob Bowman communicating through mnemonics, with a secret, coded language of two people who have been through battle together, offers a totally thrilling, poignant and singular look into the psyche of the quintessential aging Broadway Baby. And there is nothing – nothing in this world – quite like watching Elaine Stritch hit “Ladies Who Lunch” out of the park, no matter how many times you’ve seen her do it.

And, of course, that tiny, intimate room can’t contain the number of people willing to beg, borrow, and steal tickets to a Stritch opening! Those who made the cut were Elaine Paige, Robert Osbourne, Mary Louise Parker, Harold and Judy Prince, Polly Bergen, Phyllis Newman, Jayne Houdyshell, Mary Beth Peil, Barry and Fran Weissler, Peter Cincotti, Emily Bergl, and Liz Smith, who was sporting the shiner to end all shiners, apparently given to her by that notorious slugger Cindy Adams. Now, Cindy, you know I love you, but knock it off with the physical violence! It’s just show biz, and there’s enough gossip in this town to keep us all gainfully employed for seven lifetimes!

Fast Times at Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Earlier this week, I schlepped to Brooklyn to attend an assembly at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Why, you ask? Well, this wasn’t just any assembly; this was The Mountaintop scribe Katori Hall, director Kenny Leon, and stars Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson addressing one hundred drama students. What a hoot to see these great theater artists “called” to the principal’s office (which served as a makeshift green room)! The students all asked insightful and serious questions, and The Mountaintop foursome answered thoughtfully. Next week, the students will all get to go see the play. And to think, my most exciting school day growing up in Festus, Missouri was when some guy dressed up as Smokey The Bear came to speak to us about preventing forest fires.

Tidbits from around town…

Witnessed Sandra Bernhard showing an elderly man how to pick a good melon at Whole Foods in Chelsea.

Overheard Isabel Keating excitedly talking about the amazing early buzz on Tracie Bennett’s performance in End of the Rainbow.

Caught a bleary-eyed Cokie Roberts (I’m 99% sure it was her) stealing a Power Bar from a bodega in Murray Hill.

I need to send a very special congratulations to Bronx-based Nurse Practitioner Diane Pagan, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark’s very first “Everyday Heroes” honoree!

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