“The Man in the Moon Is a Lady”
Ladies and gents,
For theatricals, Dame Angela Lansbury is no mere mortal. So it was fitting that this year the American Theatre Wing deified her in high style at its annual gala. Wing President Heather Hitchens presided over an evening of rousing song, hilarious and moving remarks, and a star-studded crowd. Even the food was sublime (and you can’t say that about too many galas). It was a joy from start to finish. More importantly, it raised over $750,000 for the organization! That’s what I call a win-win.
I first met Ms. Lansbury at a press conference during the very first season of “Murder She Wrote.” Of course, she was already a great star by that point, but somehow we had never crossed paths. I was worried she was poised to hate me right off the bat, as I had just broken a rather unflattering story about one of her closest friends, but we hit it off immediately. We bonded over our shared love of horticulture. There is a specific kind of grand professionalism that she possesses that is absolutely singular. I’ve never seen it before or since.
Her longtime friend, and fellow Brit, Sir Howard Stringer credited her with saving CBS, the network he used to run, with “Murder She Wrote.” He spent much of the rest of his speech having a go at Scottish nationalists. It seems that all of Broadway were focused on the Scottish referendum (perhaps because so many stage folks have fond memories of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Even fictional Broadway names got in on the action: the D’Ysquith clan at the center of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder were completely divided on the issue. Unable to reach a consensus, each member of the clan released his or her own statement backing one side or the other. Well, I have no horse in the race and I’m not sure my understanding of the political or economic ramifications is keen enough to weigh in definitively. I will say that I’m relieved to know that the price of malt whisky will be staying stable for the foreseeable future.
Tidbits from around town…
Saw Andrew Lloyd Weber at recent performance of Beautiful- The Carole King Musical.
Witnessed the adorable performers that make up PigPen doing what appeared to be an impromptu (but I know better) performance in the middle of Times Square.
Caught Jason Robert Brown exiting the star-studded Broadway community screening of Pride with what appeared to be tears in his eyes.
Overheard TodayTix cofounder Brian Fenty reminiscing, over a giant platter of raw fish at Blue Ribbon Sushi, about his childhood dinners spent at Elaine’s, hobnobbing with the likes of Gay Talese and Joel Grey.
As always a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!