Oh my goodness! So I step inside the theater and see Mandy Patinkin is already sitting on stage talking to Paul Ford, his pianist. The usher shows me to the front row (front row!) and I realize Mandy Patinkin isn’t talking to Paul Ford, he’s running through his lines—for Prospero, in The Tempest—as the audience members find their seats and continue to chat, although certainly nothing in my day so far has contained anything that’s more interesting than watching Mandy Patinkin rehearse for The Tempest. And I also realize this all sounds way too precious, and maybe you would have thought so even if you’d been there beside me, but please. I’m the kind of girl who eats that shit up.
Also, this conversation, with a woman a couple seats down from me:
“Can you say, ‘My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.’?”
“Are you a rich lady?”
“Then we can’t afford it.”
Or something to that effect.
Anyway, I sat right here, and Mandy Patinkin stood right up there, in a shorter version of his Georges Seurat beard which by now is almost all gray and actually makes him look a little like Stephen Sondheim, and he sang “Children and Art” to me, and “Sunday,” and “Franklin Shepard Inc.” and “Bring Him Home” (during which the lady next to me nearly died from excitement), and some Tom Waits and some John Lennon and yes, some Yiddish, and “Oklahoma” and “Over the Rainbow,” and then he sang this—the first minute of which is close to my favorite minute of music in the whole entire world, and the rest of which wouldn’t kill you to hear, either: "Pleasant Little Kingdom / Too Many Mornings" (from Follies, music and lyrics by Mr. Stephen Sondheim. He did both as solos, but “Too Many Mornings” is a duet with Judy Blazer on his album Oscar & Steve).
The Tempest opens in September, by the way.