Every day is opening night.

“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”

Ladies and gents,
As you may recall, a few weeks back I was overcome with affection for the Broadway community at the opening night of Aladdin, but I ended that column rather pessimistically: “Perhaps Broadway will wake up today with a champagne headache and renewed jitters about Awards Season, and that annual competitive edge will return.” Well, we’ve just gotten through the first official week of Awards Season and I can tell you that the community is still in fine form!

Case in point: the unofficial Mayor of Broadway, Harvey Fierstein, was on the way to the opening night of his new play, Casa Valentina. The show is playing at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on 47th Street, directly across from the Brooks Atkinson, where After Midnight is playing. Now, at this very time on a Wednesday night, the cast of After Midnight has things to do. Get into costume, throw on wigs and make-up, warm up their vocal chords, roll around on hard foam cylinders. You know – all the things that musical theater performers have to do before a performance. But at the moment when Harvey Fierstein strolls by, After Midnight cast members Rosena M. Hill Jackson, Carmen Ruby Floyd, and Bryonha Marie Parham aren’t backstage rolling around or vocalizing. They’re out on the street, in full Isabel Toledo costuming, in front of a giant sign that reads, “3PEAT” (a reference to Harvey’s three shows currently running on Broadway) waiting to serenade the unofficial mayor with a rendition of “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” Harvey was touched. I was touched. Even Cherry Jones was touched!

But I’m no Pollyanna. Let’s face it – there are awards to be handed out and not everyone is going to walk away happy. At present, the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League, and the Drama Desk have announced their nominees. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is leading the pack with the most number of nominations so far in what is expected to be a hotly contested year and a wide-open field of new musicals. Tuesday, the Tony Awards will announce their nominees and no one seems to have any idea how to read the tea leaves this season. I won’t try. I will just leave you with a thought given to me by producer Joey Parnes over a cocktail (well, I was drinking a cocktail, he was sipping sparkling water): “It just doesn’t feel like competition to me. It’s like Olympic figure skating. Everyone goes out there and does their own program to the very best of their abilities, and at the end someone is going to decide whose program they liked
best. We just all want do to the best job for our shows.”

Tidbits from around town…

Spotted Edie Falco cruising around town on her Vespa.

Witnessed Justin Long walking his dog (or, rather, his dog was walking him) around the Flatiron District.

Overheard Tommy Tune talking about how much fun he’s having doing his show up at the Café Carlyle.

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