Every day is opening night.

“Goodbye for Now”

The ageless Steve Tyrell wows ’em again at the Cafe Carlyle.


Ladies and gents,

It has been a tough week for Theaterland as we’ve had to say goodbye to a beloved perennial in our little cottage industry: Times Square Bagels.  Perched on that most theatrical of blocks on West 44th Street, offering quality, affordable fare just a mere stone’s throw from a slew of great Broadway houses like the St. James and the Shubert (not to mention Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar).  A theater insider quipped about the news of its closing that Broadway just might come to a halt altogether when “all those hungover interns will have nowhere to eat.”  But Times Square Bagels’s greatest charm wasn’t its food (no matter how delicious it was), it was the fact that a community made-up of outsiders could convene there and feel like insiders.  As Barbra famously said, “I’m a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls.”  Well, at a little bagel joint on West 44th Street it was always the onion roll that was the odd man out.

Despite that sad news, there is much to be thankful for this time of year, not least of which is the great Steve Tyrell’s return engagement to the Café Carlyle.  First of all, the man must have a deteriorating portrait of himself hidden in the attic of the Carlyle Hotel because that punim seems to defy the passage of time.  As does, I’m happy to report, the voice.  He’s at the peak of his powers knocking out a solid set of Sammy Cahn tunes, and the opening night crowd (in which I spotted more small-screen stars than the network upfronts, including Regis Philbin, Hoda Kotb, Rosanna Scotto, Sue Simmons, Joan Collins, Jill Zarin, and Aviva Drescher) ate up every last lyric.

And yet another ray of hope comes courtesy of Off Broadway’s Forever Dusty, which reminds us that not all goodbyes are forever.  That’s because there is no question that Dusty Springfield is alive and well when you witness Kirsten Holly Smith channel her every gesture and every vocal nuance in this ninety-minute stage show.  And Dusty’s fans and admirers are coming out in droves!  When the opening night curtain finally went up (after being held for nearly 20 minutes in the vain hope that my old friend Cindy Adams would arrive), the crowd (dotted with longtime Dusty fans like Ronnie Spector and Debbie Harry) was held rapt by Ms. Smith’s knockout performance.  And I hear whispers that Motown legend Mary Wilson has already purchased her tickets.

Tidbits from around town…

Saw Bette Midler leading the standing ovation at a recent performance of Peter and the Starcatcher.

Witnessed Warren Buffett joking around with “Today Show” producer Amanda Sidman at Rockefeller Center.

Overheard Joan Rivers quip about SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark’s second anniversary, “Spider-Man has stuck around longer than Kirstie Alley at a buffet.”

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