Every day is opening night.

“Rüeffhousin’ Mit Shüeffhausen”

Ladies and gents,


I am still buzzing from yesterday’s buzzy luncheon at La Granouille in celebration of Clever Little Lies – the hilarious and thought-provoking new Off Broadway play starring with one-and-only Marlo Thomas.  How does an Off Broadway production afford to throw a luncheon at La Granouille?  By selling boatloads of tickets, I guess!  Well, I’ve never been on to scrutinize expenditures – I was just happy to be in the room.  And oh what a room!  La Granouille is just as grand and elegant as you remember it.  As the glorious memories of refined lunches as La Cote Basque, Lespinasse, and La Caravelle fade further and further from our minds, dining at Granouille is more than a cherished tradition, it’s a civic duty.  Supporting the very last of the great traditional French grand dames  is right up there with paying taxes and jury duty (and a helluva lot more pleasurable than either of those, I assure you).


New York’s reigning society queen, Peggy Siegal, pulled the event together, engaging a hosting committee of heavy hitters including Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Diane Sawyer, and Elaine May.  Amongst the chosen people in attendance (by which I don’t mean to imply they are Jewish, just hand selected by Peggy and the hosts to receive invitations) were Bob Balaban, Reed Birney, Kerry Butler, Carolee Carmello, Tony Danza, Caroline Hirsch, Susan Lucci, Beth Malone, Regis & Joy Philbin, Kim Raver, Julian Schlossberg, Lorraine Schwartz, Ryan Silverman, Gloria Steinem, Gloria Allred, Heather Hitchens, Roy Furman, Charlotte St. Martin, Lilly Hartley, Grace Hightower, Laura Michelle Kelly, Francine LeFrak, Sheila Nevins, Donald Rosenfeld, Marina Rust, Lucy Simon, and Blaine Trump, to name just a few.  These kinds of guest lists – perfectly curated and chock full of interesting people doing interesting things – are so hard to come by in this day-and-age of internet celebrity and reality television.  Of course the real guests of honor were the artists associated with Clever Little Lies: Marlo, of course, along with cast mates Greg Mullavey, George Merrick, and Kate Wetherhead, as well as playwright Joe DiPietro and director David Saint.  They participated in a talkback with Patrick Pacheco, who was characteristically thoughtful and though provoking.


I overheard Reed Birney and David Saint reminiscing fondly about the great production they did of Dining Room at the Pasadena Playhouse, which I had attended on the arm of my old friend (and West Coast power critic) Don Shirley, who later raved. Every time I see Reed onstage – most recently in the sublime Casa Valentina — I am reminded of just what a giant talent he is.


I observed Regis Philbin laughing so hard he almost choked on his soup.  When I asked him what was so funny, he told me that Marlo had just revealed she once discovered Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols naked in her closet during one of her parties.  To which Joy Philbin exclaimed, “Necking, Reg.  Necking.  Not ‘naked.’”


Speaking of soup, when Alan Alda spilled a drop on his tie, Candice Bergen and Sawyer rushed into action, grabbing him club soda and a napkin.  What does he do?  Dunks his entire tie in the glass of club soda.  “Well you may as well just throw it out,” Elaine May deadpanned.


As wine flowed, tongues got looser and laughs got louder.  I spotted Aubrey Reuben yukking it up with Harry Haun and Jeremy Gerard.


Gloria Steinem fielded lots of questions about her recent comments about the word “bitch” in Cosmopolitan, and seemed to genuinely enjoy the dialogue.


I even spotted Henry Kissinger eating in the main dining room alongside a very Robin Wright-looking blonde.  “Henry, my dear, you should pop upstairs and say hi to Marlo.”  “I adore Marlo, but my friend here is utilizing all of my focus at the moment.  Tell her Kissinger says hello.  And do me a favor, don’t put me in the damn column.”  Sorry Henry!


Tidbits from around town…


Spotted producer Scott Sanders en route to Hamburg, where he is going to install After Midnight on the Norwegian Escape.  I could use a Norwegian escape right about now!


Heard that Sia was at Fun Home the night I was there, but I have no idea what she looks like.


Witnessed Billy Porter captivate the entire room at Cipriani Wall Street during his performance at the Angel Ball.


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