Ladies and gents,
When my mentor/colleague/friend/role model/confidant/drinking buddy/life coach Cindy Adams first interviewed Harvey Fierstein back in 1982, he had just started his Broadway run starring as drag-performer-in-search-of-love Arnold Beckoff in his play, Torch Song Trilogy, at the Little Theatre. Cindy met the up-and-comer at his apartment, where she beelined right to his closet to look for dresses. She couldn’t find any dresses so, being the hard-nosed journalist she is, asked, “Where are the dresses?” Harvey informed her, “There are no dresses.”
Well, Cindy (in a dress) and Harvey (in a suit) reunited on the red carpet at the opening night extravaganza for the Broadway revival of Torch Song (they dropped the “Trilogy”) at the exact same theater, now better known as the Helen Hayes. This was after Harvey, who I used to call “The Mayor of 45th Street” but has now added 44th to his domain, strode through Shubert Alley, shaking hands and kissing babies. (And before that, he dined at Junior’s. I’m guessing he was the first bone-a-fide celebrity to darken the doorstep of that tourist trap since “Senior” was still alive and running the place.)
After working the carpet like a pro, he entered the theater, where most of the opening night crowd was already seated. Seated, that is, until they spotted Harvelah walking down the aisle, at which point they leapt to their feet in a pre-curtain standing ovation. The theater only seats 600, so it’s a miracle it was able to hold all of the notables in attendance. I spotted, to name a few: Larry Kramer, Anna Wintour, Matthew Broderick, Bernadette Peters, Zac Posen, Vanessa Williams, Neil Patrick Harris, Drew Droege, Nathan Lee Graham, Jerry Mitchell, Jeffrey Self, and Brenda Vaccaro.
For a play all about how we define (and redefine) family bonds, even more notable than those notables was all the love in the room. Harvey’s brother and nephew were on hand to join in the fun. Producer Richie Jackson had three generations of family in tow, including hubby Jordan Roth.
The after party was at Sony Hall. I tried to get into the back room, where I assumed a VIP of my stature was supposed to be. I was rebuffed by security, and as I was walking away feeling dejected, a pretty young server whispered to me, “I don’t think it’s your scene.” Which, of course, only made me more convinced that it was exactly where I was supposed to be!
I managed to grab co-stars Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl on my way out to tell them how much their performances moved me. They credited Moises Kaufman for his guidance, Harvey Fierstein for his poetry, Richie Jackson for his leadership, their co-stars for their generosity. Everyone but the ushers for their ticket-tearing skills! “Enough with the modesty! You’re brilliant! Take the compliment!” They giggled sweetly, gave me and aw shucks smile, and sent me on my way. Well, if they didn’t believe me, maybe they’ll believe all the raves in today’s papers!
Tidbits from around town…
Forget about celebrity culture for one week and just vote! No excuses. Vote!
Oh, fine, just one:
Spotted Katie Couric leaving Mario Badescu looking glowy. “I’ll have what she’s having!” I quipped to the gal at reception, just loud enough for Katie to hear. “Scoop, I hope to look half as good as you when I’m your age,” Katie shot back. I’m still livid!
At always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!