“TALKIN’ BOUT A MIRACLE”
Ladies and gents,
I am a bit bleary-eyed this morning, having attended the opening night of Gabriel Byrne’s beatific new autobiographical solo show, Walking with Ghosts, last night. This is Byrne’s fourth time on Broadway, and the first time not in a Eugene O’Neill play. Let me tell you that the marvel is just as brilliant at interpreting his own words as he is interpreting the Great American Master of Realism’s. Among the sparkling crowd I spotted the original goddess of Broadway, Donna Murphy, the original goddess of folk, Judy Collins, and the former goddess of Revlon, Ellen Barkin. Also there: Chris Noth, Dr. Barry Kohn, and Brenda Vaccaro – who I hear was Bernie Taupin’s real inspiration for “Tiny Dancer.” The after party was at Sardi’s – which still feels as glamorous to me as when Liz Taylor and Richard Burton used to frequent. On Wednesdays, between the matinee and evening performances of The Little Foxes, Taylor and Maureen Stapleton used to take over a corner table in the back and play cards. One time they roped me into a game of hearts, and the loser had to pick up the tab. Well, having never before played hearts, I lost. What nobody told me is that Liz was sipping on 1811 Chateau d’Yquem of which Sardis’ had ordered a case especially for her. It took me the next twelve years to pay off that tab. If only Kickstarter had been invented 40 years ago!
Earlier in the week, I attended the official reading of this year’s Yale Drama Prize winner Seayoung Yim’s Jar of Fat, directed by Aileen Wen McGroddy. Having yet to shed to my “pandemic pounds” (which have created a noticeable “pandemic paunch” forcing me to build a wardrobe of “pandemic pants”), I wasn’t sure I wanted to sit through a reading of play of this particular title. I was blown away by the sheer artistry of this fantastical comedic jewel. Kudos to the Yale Drama Prize for mining such mind-bending talent!
And speaking of prizes, I also scooted over to the Lotos Club in time to witness Paula Vogel and Lynn Nottage present playwright Christina Anderson with the 2022 Horton Foot Prize for her play, the ripple, the wave that carried me home. This prize comes with a $50,000 check – enough to have let Liz sip Sauternes for at least a night or two!
And, finally, a fond farewell to our dear friend Leslie Jordan. A one-of-a-kind force-of-nature, who graced the theater world with his solo show, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet. I’ll never forget him conjuring the image of bovine genitalia to describe the exact color he wanted on the window card. When it came to color matching, Pantone had nothing on Mr. Jordan! I miss him already.
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted: a slew of familiar faces enduring the unending trauma of A Little Life at BAM, including Benj Pasek, Michael Hartman, Marshall Heyman, and Andrew Keenan Bolger.
Overheard: a visibly shaken patron screaming about a cockroach, while running out of Tribeca’s Frenchette.
Caught: Bob Balaban asking a barista how they get milk from oats at Devoción to which the barista replied, “Boss, you asked me the same thing about almonds last year!”
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!