Every day is opening night.

“By the Way if You Are Free Tonight”

Ladies and gents,

New York City is a grimy, stressful, and prohibitively expensive place to live. It’s loud, crowded, and exhausting. I often wonder, “Why do we all put up with it?” That question was answered for me last night at the opening of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s new season. Any city in which a schlepper like me can wind up in Alice Tully Hall witnessing an ensemble of some of the greatest classical musicians in the world making perfect music together is a city worth putting up with!

Now, I must confess, I’m no classical music aficionado. It’s a world that has always seemed a tad … opaque to me. But after last night, I’m a convert! To kick off their season, co-artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han planned a “Strings Celebration” with a surprisingly large ensemble. The great thing about chamber music is that each musician gets to show off his/her personality. For those of us who spend most of our velvet-seat-time seeing theater,
personality is everything!

Speaking of theater, this is not the kind of opening night I’m used to. On Broadway, the house is filled with investors, celebs, family and friends — none of whom paid a dime to be there. At CMS, the house is filled with patrons and ticketbuyers. People who are passionate about the art form. There is no dress code (though, being a typically glamorous Lincoln Center crowd, there may as well have been). There’s no stampede of photographers at the end. It’s a nonopening opening. That is, until you make your way to the reception, where top notch bubbly (yes, the French stuff) and a spread of cheeses and desserts unlike anything I’d ever seen. The good people at CMS know how to treat their patrons!

Tidbits from around town:

Witnessed Zachary Quinto getting stuck behind a mob of tourists at 45th Street and 8th Avenue.

Ran into my old friend Michael Musto (or rather he almost rode into me atop that death trap he calls a bike) in front of the Walter Kerr Theatre, where I was meeting some friends from out of town who were purchasing tickets for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

Overheard Joanna Gleason to a friend: “Don’t you just love this weather? I wish I could spend the day in the park!”

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