Ladies and gents,
The news coming out of Australia has put me in quite a funk. How Cindy Adams feels about teeny tiny terriers is how I feel about koalas and kangaroos, and the onslaught of bleaker-than-bleak reports and photos has just about gutted me these past few weeks. So, amidst all the end-of-days hopelessness, I must say I found it oddly comforting to hear that the great Joel Grey is headed down under next month to start assembling a cast for his Yiddish production of Fiddler on the Roof. I’m vaguely aware even the best theater (which this production certainly is) can’t solve all the world’s problems but knowing that an Aussie production is in the works reminds me that there is indeed a future we can still plan for and, perhaps, a little hope on the horizon. In the meantime, fellow concerned citizens of earth can donate to the relief and recovery effort here.
Last week, the New York production of Fiddler played its final performance at Stage 42, after a sensation-causing, extended-too-many-times-to-count run. I was at the final show, which was definitely the most raucous performance of the Stein-Harnick-Bock masterpiece I’ve ever seen. Who knew that life in the shtetl could be so much fun?! Emotions ran high throughout, from Steven Skybell’s first entrance as Tevye, which garnered so much applause he took a moment to compose himself before continuing, to Jackie Hoffman’s final monologue as Yente, after which we all had to compose ourselves before continuing.
Good news for my fellow Americans: in addition to the Australian tour, a U.S. National Tour will be kicking off at Los Angeles’s Ahmanson Theatre in August. If LA responds like New York did, expect every film star from Malibu to Pasadena to be in attendance. Among the notables who attended in New York were Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Christine Ebersole, Harvey Fierstein, Sutton Foster, Ira Glass, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Bette Midler, Kate Mulgrew, Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, David Rockwell, Isabella Rossellini, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Billy Crystal, Meryl Streep, Hal Prince, Julianna Margulies, Barry Manilow, Wolf Blitzer, Michael J. Fox, and (probably against doctors’ orders) Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted Lorne Michaels looking like he was receiving very good news while on a cell phone call outside of the Brill Building.
Overheard radio great Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow talking about Don Imus’s death with a lady friend at Del Frisco.
Caught Jamie Foxx buying protein bars at Whole Foods in Union Square.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!