Ladies and gents,
Here is something I learned the hard way when my Aunt Esther fractured her hip when I was visiting her in Tucson: I am not a nurturer/caretaker. Every time she rang that goddamn bell I wanted to throttle her. And when she’d send me back out to the druggist just moments after I had returned home because she forgot to have me pick up this or that, I had the overwhelming urge to take a sledge-hammer to her good hip. And I am not, mind you, a violent person by nature. But it was during that very trying 48 hours that I developed a newfound appreciation for those who do have the particular skill set (and patience) (and selflessness) a situation like that requires.
Merriam-Webster defines “to nurture” as “to further the development of.” Well, by that definition, no one embodies the verb more than the great Johanna Pfaelzer, outgoing Artistic Director of New York Stage & Film. After 11 years leading the organization, she will be winging to the Bay Area to take over as Artistic Director of Berkeley Rep. BUT not before being fetted in high style by her soon-to-be former colleagues. That’s right: on Sunday, December 9, Johanna will be honored at the NS&F Winter Gala, along with power couple Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin.
When I ask the NYS&F’s flacks to send me background on Johanna’s tenure for the column, they sent me a “list of artists” she has worked with during her tenure so long, I had to send an underling out for a new toner cartridge! So I’ll spare you (and my copyeditor) – just know that it’s impressive as hell. The list of productions that NYS&F has helped to develop under her leadership includes The Secret Life of Bees, Diana, Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade History of Popular Music, The Wolves, Bright Star, Hamilton Mixtapes, Hadestown, American Idiot, and Doubt – to name a teeny tiny selection of titles that jumped out at me.
Details on the event are being held tightly under wraps (even my moles from within the organization wouldn’t say a peep), but the event co-chair/honorary co-chair/vice chair/and gala committee lists read like a who’s who of show biz royalty from the California to the New York Island (this night was made for you and me).
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted author and ubiquitous television pundit John Heilemann marching around Tribeca in a surprisingly hip (and flattering!) ensemble.
Saw Mindy Kaling trying on jackets at The Very Warm pop-up shop in Dumbo.
Caught Joel Grey at IFC Film Center at a showing of Roma.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!