“IF I LOVED YOU”
Ladies and gents,
I’ve always said that the theater is firstly about love, and secondly about art. (Thirdly, it’s about trying to get comfortable in a ridiculously tight seat which, at my present weight, sometimes takes precedent over both love and art — but I digress.)
Well, no two people in my lifetime embodied that spirit quite as profoundly as Rick Elice and Roger Rees, or simply “Rick and Roger” to all who knew them. Their offstage romance, complete with a meet cute for the ages, rivals any love story you’ve seen played out on stage. And now Rick has recounted their story, in all of its gloriously theatrical detail, in the new book, Finding Roger: An Improbably Theatrical Love Story. It has been more than two years since we lost Roger, and now we have yet one more beautiful way to remember him. Also on the theatrical-literary front (how is that for niche programming?), chorine-turned-children’s book author Tim Federle has just released his first self-improvement manual, Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star. Well, I never got through The Four Agreements and my “love language” is Greek to me, but this sounds like a selfhelp book I could read!
Speaking of improvements: heretofore, Carole Shorenstein Hays’ greatest theatrical achievement was giving us August Wilson’s Fences. That’s a hard one to beat, but I think she may have just outdone herself. To celebrate the Curran’s upcoming holiday engagement of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star (which my more able-minded readers will recall was my pick for Best Musical a couple season’s back, when it premiered on Broadway), Carole hosted an “open house” at the theater on Wednesday, complete with a performance by the show’s Tony-nominated star, Carmen Cusack. The event also featured performers from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the annual musical festival taking place this weekend. But the real star was music world legend and Martin/Brickell collaborator Peter Asher, who led dozens of students from all over the Bay Area in a massive sing-a-long that created the kind of palpable anticipation not seen in that town since they started finding gold in the riverbeds.
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted the Jimmy Buffett at Gallow Green celebrating his musical, Escape to Margaritaville. The tequila flowed like water.
Saw Lena Dunham generously posing for selfies with two very excited young fans in Brooklyn Heights.
Caught Manhattan Beach author Jennifer Egan taking the subway after signing books at Barnes and Noble Union Square. “Jennifer, it’s the most anticipated novel of the year. Take an Uber!” “I’m still a struggling writer in my soul, Scoop.” Fair enough!
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!