“Me and My Town”
Gleefully good eating, courtesy of Delia Ephron!
Ladies and Gents,
With every passing day (and every rising thermometer), I’m starting to feel more and more at home here in New York City. And the week I’ve had proves there is simply no town like this town!
Anyone Can Whistle
Encores! (that exclamation point is their touch, not mine – although, as my loyal readers know, I’ve never been one to shy away from emphatic punctuation) productions are always a very hot ticket in this town, in part because the runs are so limited and in part because City Center has such a large subscription base. So imagine my surprise when I scored two prime tickets to the much-chatted-about Anyone Can Whistle. How prime, you ask? Well, I was seated beside an entranced Mike Nichols (so entranced, in fact, he didn’t even notice me). And I was within spitting distance of a handful of stars, including Joel Grey, Eric Idle and Harvey Evans (who was in the original production). The show stars a trio of Tony favorites (Raul Esparza, Sutton Foster, and that absolute goddess Donna Murphy) at the absolute height of their powers! Ms. Murphy knocks ‘em dead, seemingly channeling a goddess of a different medium: the great Cindy Adams. Mr. Esparza is giving a performance that is up there with his very best! Seeing Ms. Foster in this has put me on pins and needles awaiting her Café Carlyle show in June! Casey Nicolaw has secured his place as of one the great stage geniuses of our time. And kudos to Jack Viertel for his unfailing prowess as Artistic Director (and his insightful and oh-so-personal notes in the program that made a rich evening even richer)!
A Gay Old Time
I attended a gay theater panel discussion at the Snapple Theater Center. The room was jam-packed with two of my favorite things: fit men and bottled iced tea. Heaven! New York Times superstar Patrick Healy moderated the discussion with panelists Joseph Zellnik (Yank!), Christopher Sieber (The Kid), Leslie Jordan (My Trip Down the Pink Carpet), Michael Urie (The Temperamentals), Jon Marans (The Temperamentals) and Scott Elliott (The Kid). I hung on their every word (especially the adorable Urie) and wished it would never end!
I got a hot tip that Mayor Bloomberg was going to be at Hair on Wednesday, so I snuck in for the finale to see if he’d get onstage for the dance party. Sure enough, there he was dancing like a fool (I mean that in the nicest way)! What a treat to see one of New York’s most serious residents let his hair down (a pun!) in such a public forum! You can see video of this magic moment at www.hairbroadway.com/eparty/1270684800. This, of course, comes on the heels of “Mair” – the musical spoof of Hair at the Mayor’s Inner Circle Dinner featuring Bloomberg and the Broadway cast. Apparently he just can’t get enough stage time with this fabulous tribe!
I caught an exciting evening of theater at Primary Stages called Inner Voices: Solo Musicals, which includes the bold and exciting new musical by Josh Schmidt and David Simpatico called Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle. Inner Voices prides itself on producing successful works from unlikely collaborations, and Whida Peru seems to me the perfect example!
Tonight is the season premiere of Fox’s smash hit “Glee” and I’m attending a certain well-publicized regular screening party. I promised I’d keep the locale hush-hush to avoid the usual crashers, but did let the details slip when I was chatting with my good friend (and fellow “Gleek”) Delia Ephron. Well, she just sent over the most beautiful cake from Buttercup Bake Shop with “Happy Glee” scrawled on it in lush red icing, so now I have to chicest dessert to bring to the bash. Anyone who doubts the kindness of New Yorkers, take note: there is nobody more thoughtful, nor more quintessentially New York, than the wonderful Delia Ephron.
A Little More Mascara
My date with Harvey Fierstein to the first preview on La Cage aux Folles last week was, as you had guessed, magical! I wouldn’t have traded the experience for all the feathers, sequins, and false eyelashes in the world! This revival is such a delight and it reminds you what a rare gem La Cage is. Jerry Herman, my dear, you are in a class by yourself. Congrats to all involved — this is one for the ages!
Tidbits From Around Town
Saw New York’s favorite architect (that word doesn’t do him justice) David Rockwell sipping coffee at an outdoor table in front of Locanda Verde at the Greenwich Street Hotel. “Isn’t this the chicest place?” I shouted. “I designed it,” he replied, somewhat bashfully.
Caught Matt Lauer giggling to himself while watching a bunch of puppies playing in front of a pet store on Madison Ave.
Witnessed Matthew Broderick getting passed-by no less than three times while trying to hail a taxi in the Village.
Overheard iconic motivational speaker Susan Powter musing aloud, “This all sounds amazing, but there isn’t a thing I can eat,” while reading the menu at Blue Smoke. Now that’s will powter, er, power!
As always a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!