Every day is opening night.

“What I Did For Love”

Ladies and gents,

It’s that most romantic time of the year!  February sweeps.  It also happens to be Valentine’s Day tomorrow, so love is most decidedly in the air.

Hollywood is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a couple specially targeted film releases.  For the wistfully romantic, there is the screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s much-obsessed-over Off Broadway musical, The Last 5 Years starring the irresistible adorable Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick as a pair of star-crossed, golden-throated lovers.  Radius and Harvey Weinstein premiered the flick to a starry crowd earlier this week at is original Off Broadway home: The Minetta Lane Theatre.  For those looking for a decidedly spicier way to celebrate, there’s Fifty Shades of Grey.  Pundits are predicting the biggest Valentine’s Day weekend opening of all time, as sadists and masochists alike are expected to turn out in droves.

Not to be outdone, Broadway is getting in on the action too. Honeymoon in Vegas is running a series of St. Valentine’s-themed promotions all week. My personal favorite: a lucky couple in the audience at Saturday’s matinee gets to go on a “double date” with the show’s stars, Rob McClure and Brynn O’Malley.  Gimmicks aside, I find the live theater a natural aphrodisiac, so really you can’t go wrong bringing your loved one to any of the vast array of offerings.  There’s a Broadway show to accommodate just about every kind of romance.  For example, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is the only show whose happy ending involves the formation of a thruple. (Not even Book of Mormon can claim such a polyamorous love story!) Kinky Boots is all about self-love (as are, let’s face it, most solo shows).  Phantom of the Opera is a classic tragic love story for those in aesthetically mismatched relationships (you know who you are).  Off Broadway has plenty of appropriate offerings, you’ll find a sweetly sad love story at the center of Benjamin Scheuer’s wonderful piece, The Lion.  And, of course, for those who just can’t get enough of the rough stuff, there’s 50 Shades: The Musical Parody.  You get the idea.

On a sad note, we lost one of our most elegant and brilliant funny men with the passing of Taylor Negron.  A storyteller through to his core, Taylor started off as a club comic but became most recognized for his slew of TV and film roles.  It seems that everyone has their own Taylor touchstone.  For some, it was his now iconic pizza delivery guy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  For others, it was his role as Elaine’s hair-dresser on “Seinfeld.”  However Taylor seeped into your consciousness, once he was there he left an indelible impression.  That’s the wonderful thing about people who leave such a lasting legacy — they don’t ever really go away.  A group of his nearest and dearest gathered at David Schweitzer’s legendary downtown loft to share stories, remembrances, and song.  Tears were shed, laughs were had, and hugs were given.  It was sweet and surreal, and Taylor would have loved every minute.

Tidbits from around town…

Overheard George Takei excitedly telling a flight attendant about his upcoming Broadway show, Allegiance.

Caught Beautiful star Jessie Mueller exiting the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with a shiny new Grammy Award tucked under her arm.

Spotted George Stephanopoulos having a quiet at Quatorze Bis, just tables away from a considerably more jubilant Rachel Antonoff, who was dining with friends and family following her brilliantly bawdy and wonderfully whimsical Science Fair-themed Fall/Winter 2015 fashion show, which Style.com declared “Fall’s greatest triumph!”

As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!