Every day is opening night.

“Ready to Play”

Ladies and gents,

There are so many reasons to celebrate November 17. The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed on that date in 1659. In 1962, President Kennedy dedicated Washington Dulles International Airport. And, of course, it’s the birthday of screen goddess Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio! But, on Broadway, the date gains more and more significance with each passing season. Last year, it was marked by the black tie opening night of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which went on to garner raves and win the Tony Award for Best Musical. (The anniversary of the occasion was celebrated by the Gentleman’s Guide company a few days prior at a private party at The
Palm, where a portrait of leading men Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham now adorns the walls.)

Well, perhaps in a bid to cash in on the good fortune of that lucky date, the newly reimagined revival of Side Show opened this past Monday, November 17. And, go figure, it garnered rave reviews! Despite the rain, which caused more-than-your-usual-opening-night delays, stars and well-wishers turned out in droves to welcome the show back to Broadway – including original cast members Hugh Panaro and Billy Hartung, original director Robert Longbottom, original producer Emanuel Azenberg, and even original press agent, Bill Evans. But, of course, this night belonged to the show’s creators, Bill Russell and Henry Krieger, as well as director Bill Condon. The trio joined in the opening night curtain call, which was so soaked in long-stemmed roses that entire stage looked blood red. Joined-at-the-hip leading ladies Emily Padgett and Erin Davie were beaming and radiant.

Then onto the after party, held at hotspot Tao Downtown (a venue designed, appropriately enough, by Side Show’s scenic designer, David Rockwell). Sutton Foster worked the press line, while producer Darren Bagert glad-handed investors and friends. I spotted Paradigm agent Jack Tantleff huddled with a few of his many clients involved in the show (he reps pretty much the entire creative and design team). I even ran into Gentleman’s Guide producers Sue Wagner and John Johnson, who had chosen to celebrate their own show’s anniversary by cheering on a new production. On Broadway, you see, there are no competitors, only colleagues.

Tidbits from around town…
Caught Ralph Fiennes taking a “selfie” with the cast of It’s Only A Play (well, taking a selfie with a front-of-house photo of the cast taking a selfie – how very very meta). Overheard a paparazzo telling Lea DeLaria, “I loved you in that subway video!”

Spotted Jon Hamm, Jennifer Westfeldt, John Slattery, Talia Balsam and John Benjamin Hickey, kicking back with New York Stage & Film heavies Johanna Pfaelzer and Thomas Pearson, at the Plaza Hotel’s lobby bar, after the organization’s Winter Gala, toasting honorees Michael Mayer and Rick Miramontez.

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