“Of Thee I Sing”
Ladies and gents,
Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a bus from New York City to Washington, D.C. Okay, now raise your other hand. Now walk slowly to the bathroom and wash those hands with soap and water. Those busses are filthy! Well, I lost my drivers license after a traffic cop and I had a minor miscommunication that ended in one of us getting pepper sprayed and the other getting handcuffed (I’ll let you imagine who was who), so I didn’t have a more suitable way to get to our nation’s capital last weekend to attend the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. (I’m deathly afraid of American trains.)
So getting there might not have been half the fun, but once I arrived everything was chic, chic, chic! I checked into the Hay Adams Hotel, and ran right into my old drinking buddies Bob and Liddy Dole (well, I would drink and they would just sip coffee and drone on about domestic politics). We shared a laugh about something so off color I can’t print it here. Let’s just say it would have offended 87% of American households. (Pollsters run numbers on everything in that town.)
That evening I entertained power babes Arianna Huffington and Sally Quinn at the hotel’s subterranean Off The Record Bar. In our business, “off the record” are the three most loathed words in the English language, but with a slogan like “Where all of Washington goes to be seen – but not heard” I couldn’t resist checking out the place. And so (“when in Rome…”) we all agreed that our conversation would remain “OTR” so I can’t tell you anything more about it.
I managed to squeeze in a little theater while I was in town. I caught Camp David by the great, Pulitzer-winner journalist Lawrence Wright, and my faith hasn’t been so restored in the American political system since “The West Wing.” Last year, Wright released, Going Clear, his definitive tome on the inner workings of Scientology. Let’s just say it’s a page-turner. I am hoping Camp David will find its way to New York, but until then get your Larry Wright fix by reading Going Clear.
Back in New York, the Times Square area is still suffering from a major champagne shortage since the Tony Award nominations were announced. With the theatrical awards season officially in full swing, I don’t see this issue getting resolved anytime soon. One neighborhood bar owner told me, “Finding a decent bottle of bubbly in the West 40’s was easier during prohibition.” (He looked to be about 45 years old, so I have no idea how he’d know this.)
For those craving bubbles, two places guaranteed to have some on Monday night: Terrence McNally and Bobby Steggert will be doing one of the Drama League’s UpClose conversations, and there is a private reception to follow. Get an invite to that private reception. I hear they’ve ordered cases and cases directly from France. Also on Monday, HBO is premiering Ryan Murphy’s screen adaption of Larry Kramer’s masterwork, The Normal Heart. I hear HBO is sparing no expense, so bring a large purse and see how many bottles you can get away with “borrowing for later.”
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted gay rights icon David Mixner having a power lunch with a nattily dressed dandy at Glass House Tavern.
Overheard someone tell Mare Winningham, during the Tony Awards’ Meet the Nominees event at the Diamond Horseshoe, that the Carlyle Hotel has arranged to have slippers waiting for her after the Tony Awards telecast on June 8.
Witnessed Andrew Lippa receiving kudos from fans at Carnegie Hall stage door after making a much talked about surprise appearance during Kristin Chenoweth’s performance.
Saw Marisa Tomei trotting excitedly around the Drama Desk reception at Essex House as if running into old friends at a high school reunion.
As always, a toast of something sparkling (if you can get your hands on such a thing) to you and yours!