“HOME IS THE PLACE”
Ladies and gents,
Sorry Gallaghers, I have a new favorite haunt on West 52nd Street. And what they’re serving up is juicer than your rarest porterhouse and more tantalizing than your finest Bordeaux. And I’m not talking about Mastro’s. No, the reason my mouth is watering is because of the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space. It’s MCC Theater’s first permanent home, and I was there for its official grand opening ceremony, hosted by MCC’s trio of Artistic Directors, Bernard Telsey, Robert LuPone, and William Cantler, as well as its Executive Director Blake West.
I go back a long way with these guys — I was palling around with Bernie and Bob in the mid-80’s when they first started what was then called Manhattan Class Company. (I spent most of my time, back then, throwing myself at Bernie, before he made it clear that I wasn’t his type. But I also managed to catch just about every single one of their productions in those early years.)
The ribbon cutting ceremony was short and sweet, with remarks from executives and board members alike. A few highlights: A visibly emotional LuPone announcing “For the first time in our history, we are home!” Board member Peter Hedges reminding us about Telsey’s hairdo back in those early days (“It was down to his shoulders and Annie red.” He left out the other descriptor I’d have used: “irresistible.”)
Fellow board member Julianna Margulies joking, “I’d like to apologize in person to all of the Board members for never making any of the meetings. I went to one once, and was like, ‘Oh my gawd!’ It was six hours long! Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh and board member quipping, “I’m very happy for my three white uncles,” in reference to the three co-Artistic Directors.
The building was designed by Andrew Berman Architect, and is every bit as utilitarian as it is slick. It’s got not one but two theaters, as well as rehearsal space, office space, areas for meetings, events, and public conversations. The only thing this state-of-the-art complex doesn’t have just might be its own steakhouse. But, don’t worry, I know a few good places nearby.
Later this month, you can experience the magic of the new space for yourself, when performances of the new musical Alice By Heart begin.
Tidits from around town…
Overheard Uma Thurman raving to her waiter about the steak at Frenchette.
Spotted Jeffrey Self and Augustus Prew leading the standing ovation at Company in London.
Saw Parker Posey attempting a handstand just outside Washington Square Park.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!