“THE SUN SITS LOW”
Ladies and gents,
Bear with me as I clear the cobwebs from my keyboard (and brain) — I’ve never adapted particularly well to la rentrée, aka “back-to-school,” aka “sober September.” The irony is that autumn is New York City at its physical best— those first chills a welcome relief from the sizzles and smells of summer. But summer has, for New Yorkers, always been less about weather patterns and more a state-of-mind.
Sure, I spent some time in Los Angeles, visiting friends and family, seeking out cultural happenings while avoiding wildfires. I spent some time on the East End, attending weddings and clambakes, seeking out ice cream parlors while avoiding spoiled children (no easy feat at an East End ice cream parlor!). I even made it to Sonoma, where I spent my days picking peaches and my nights guzzling wine. My instagram feed runneth over with hardbodies draped on lounge chairs all along the world’s great warm-weather destinations, from Capri to Mallorca, from Saint-Tropez to Mykonos. (I waited patiently for an invitation to some such far-flung place, aboard a yacht, perhaps, or ensconced inside a grand villa. Please Mister Postman, look and see…. Alas, there was no letter in his bag for me.)
But the real joy, for me, is staying right here in Manhattan, laying witness as eight-million high-strung, Type-A personalities take a giant, collective exhale. Suddenly Thursdays become Fridays and late lunches melt into early happy hours. The summer reaches its proverbial (almost literal) boiling point in August, when the total absence of psychiatric professionals leads to a palpable madcap energy that overtakes the city like a thick fog.
So, now, days get a bit shorter and temperatures start to drop, and I get wistful. I think back to the summer that was: what was gained (22 lbs, mostly in wine) and what was lost (so, so many greats). We lost New York radio’s consummate newsman (of both 1010 WINS and Howard Stern fame), Ralph Howard — whose 26-year marriage to Julie Halston made him a beloved mainstay in theatrical circles. We lost Aretha Franklin, John McCain, and Neil Simon — each the reigning king or queen of his/her respective profession. I lost dear, dear friends like Robin Leach and Carole Shelley. And we lost Craig Zadan, whose sudden passing stopped an industry in its tracks.
Oh, how easy it is, during those long, voluptuous days of summer, to forget that the frigid embrace of winter always awaits.
So let’s take a moment to soothe our September blues with the promise of what lies ahead. Harvey Fierstein will return to the Helen Hayes with the Broadway transfer of Torch Song. Broadway will get not just one but three Chers with The Cher Show, plus all five of The Temptations — and their music and their moves — with Ain’t Too Proud. And maybe, just maybe, Ted Cruz will lose his job in the Senate.
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted producer Scott Sanders dining at Cantina in Chicago with scenic designer David Rockwell, both in town readying the musical version of Tootsie for its pre-Broadway run.
Overheard Alec Baldwin making plans for a boat charter in between sets of arm curls at East Hampton Gym.
Saw Rod Stewart dancing, full out, in the aisles at a performance of Ain’t Too Proud at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre. And, yes, I think he’s sexy!
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!