War Paint @ the Nederlander

Picture it: New York City. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.. Me to Tucc & SarahB: Wanna see War Paint tonight? Tucc & SarahB: Sure why not.

Many biers/miles/hours later, in unison: OMIGOD WAR PAINT IS THE BEST.

I won't yank your chain & claim it's literally the greatest show there ever was (i.e., IT IS NOT) but come on, man. These two epic, extraordinary, stage-eating broads? I'll never doubt again.

Between the coughing fits, Patti LuPone!

It's been 96 hours of misery with no end in sight and at this point I have no reason to believe I'll live to see another day. I just don't understand how a single body can harbor this much mucus and keep on living. Last night I performed the requisite "nasal irrigation" and so much salt water poured out of my mouth that I gagged and puked up my dinner. Classy! I have also sneezed all over my own glasses and at least three times in my own hair. So I bid you adieu with my favorite insane performance video of all time, which I have posted in this blog/space no fewer than half a billion times before, give or take. It's good to go out on a raucous affirmation of life that doubles as a cry for help (this number takes most mortals at least three minutes to plow through, but Loops sings it like she's got a herd of flaming goats nipping at her heels).

ps. Remember me fondly in your wills! I intend to spend hog wild in the afterlife.

As every fairy tale comes real

I stayed home on New Year's Eve, alone, like a nerd. Or a loser. I'm okay with either/both. Not everything can be an interaction 24/7/365. It was quiet, but I like quiet, especially since my new downstairs neighbor is not quiet. She is a slammer. Slam! slam! all hours of the night. I watched movies and cooked up finger foods and drank cheap wine and stayed awake until almost midnight and then said sayonara, sailors. A part of me feels I shouldn't admit to any of this, because it sounds sad, but A) my blog, my rules, and B) there are worse things in life than being alone (says me & Charles Bukowski). Millions of lives could be saved every day if people admitted this more often.

I've been searching for a bathrobe for years now—most are too heavy or too expensive or made for bears or monkeys—and last week I found this one at Lands' End, in a petite small. It fits. The color is advertised as "cherry jam ribbon," although in actual life the cherries resemble hearts and there is no ribbon, nor any accoutrements bearing any relation to anything that might be called jam. Unless I am supposed to "jam" while wearing it? In which case have they got the right girl!

People don't usually talk to me at the bus stop but this morning some kid must have missed the memo. He was waiting in the rain with his dad for the M11 and holding Charlie, a stuffed chicken. He was wearing a hooded Batman sweatshirt under his jacket and has a new sister at home named Lennox. He volunteered all of this to me, unbidden, with such sweet and guileless enthusiasm, and for a couple minutes after I boarded my bus (the M7), it did occur to me that maybe I've made all the wrong choices in my life. 

A famous story: years ago, a very short run of Company at the NY Philharmonic coincided with a run of Capriccio at the Met. The first featured Patti LuPone, among other notables (Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, etc.), while the latter starred RenĂ©e Fleming. It was a very good time to be in New York City, and an even better time to have a late dinner after one of these performances at CafĂ© Fiorello, which is located directly across the street from Lincoln Center. At this restaurant on this particular night, we dined in the back at a small table right next to a larger table occupied by most of the cast of Company, including Patti LuPone. On our way out the door later, near the front, we passed RenĂ©e Fleming sitting at another small table, finishing her dinner. We waved hello and then collected ourselves in the foyer, where a waiter walked up and tossed RenĂ©e Fleming's floor-length fur coat into SarahB's arms and handed RenĂ©e Fleming's flowers to Sarah's friend Beth, imagining, I guess, that because we had waved hello to RenĂ©e Fleming on our way out the door, we were employed by her. Of course this was a weird but very exciting development on top of an already very exciting evening, although when RenĂ©e Fleming finally approached us, looking confused, to collect her coat and flowers, the only thing I could think of to say was "RenĂ©e! We got to sit next to Patti LuPone!"

Not all the choices I've made in my life have been wrong.

Happy Patti LuPone Day!

Today's post is dedicated to Patti LuPone, who I love, and to Ravinia Bob, who I also love and who I met because of Patti LuPone and who owes his nickname to both me and Patti LuPone (and Ravinia, I guess, which is where we met. He's lucky I didn't decide to call him Patti Bob, although knowing Ravinia Bob and his own love for Patti LuPone, perhaps he would consider it a step up! Who can say, life is short and I only have so many nicknames to throw around [jk: I am a bottomless source of amazing nicknames]).

>>> Let's yank this buggy back on track <<<

Isn't that a nice way to meet somebody, at a Patti LuPone concert at Ravinia of all places? You know whoever ends up at an event like that at a place like that didn't just wander in off the street: they are where they were always meant to be. I used to consider Ravinia a sort of urban wonderland, although I suspect it has since gone to the dogs (aka "the richies" as Andie would call them in "Pretty in Pink"), and it's technically located in a suburb. But no matter! I have the best memories of driving out there on long, hot, muggy summer days and being so excited about what was coming. It is the dictionary definition of "a pain in the ass to get to," which of course is no small part of its charm. You drive for a thousand years down dodgy two-lane back roads and eventually you hit this section of Highland Park where everything turns to tall trees and wildly expensive two-story homes peeking through the leaves, and that part of the drive was such a clear marker for me of what I wanted my life to be and how it had actually turned out just right for once. 

And surely the best thing I ever found at the end of that drive was Ravinia Bob, a total stranger who happened to be seated next to me during the Patti LuPone concert one random evening at the end of August when the gentleman on the other side of me turned to ask who wrote the song "I Was Here," which closed the first half of the program, and to which Ravinia Bob and I shouted "Ahrens and Flaherty!" at the same time. (I think. I'm old now and some of these details are fuzzy, which is a tragedy I'm happy to say will eventually visit you all.) And god knows I don't believe in god ("God") or fate or unicorns or magic, but I do know a lucky break when I see one, and I knew it that night. I knew that I was lucky.

TL;DR (too late, suckers): SarahB and I are seeing Patti LuPone at Symphony Space tonight. Tonight! Lucky again.

Sweeney closing

Sigh. Breaks my heart, but I suppose it'll save me a lot of money in the end. And luckily dear Sarah is quick on the draw, because we have front-row seats for the closing show. Dammit.

The producers of Sweeney Todd announced today that the acclaimed revival will play its final performance on Sunday, September 3, 2006 after 349 performances and 35 previews. Sweeney Todd began previews on October 3, 2005 and opened on Thursday, November 3, 2005, at the Eugene ONeill Theatre (230 West 49th Street). A national tour is scheduled to begin at the end of next summer 2007.

This production of Sweeney Todd, innovatively staged by director John Doyle with 10 talented actor/musicians, won the Drama League, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Revival of a Musical and was awarded a Special Citation by the New York Drama Critics Circle.

It arrived on Broadway from a London engagement originally staged by the Watermill Theatre. The Broadway production recouped its entire $3.5 million investment just 19 weeks after opening.

This revival of "the greatest musical of the past half century" (Wall Street Journal) features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond. The production is directed and designed by John Doyle, who was awarded the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for his direction. Music Supervision and Orchestrations were done by Sarah Travis, who was awarded a 2006 Tony and Drama Desk award for her work with the classic Sondheim score.

Sweeney Todd stars Patti LuPone as Mrs. Lovett and Michael Cerveris in the title role. Both were nominated for Tony Awards for their performances as was Manoel Felciano as Tobias. he ten member ensemble also includes: Mark Jacoby (Judge Turpin), Donna Lynne Champlin (Pirelli), Alexander Gemignani (The Beadle), John Arbo (Jonas Fogg), Diana DiMarzio (Beggar Woman), Benjamin Magnuson (Anthony) and Lauren Molina (Johanna).

"Without question, this production has been one of the richest and most satisfying endeavors of our professional careers. We are all deeply indebted to everyone who made such an extraordinary show a reality on Broadway. I know that I speak on behalf of all of the producing partners when I say that we will miss this company very much but look forward to working again soon with all of them. They are simply -- the best," said Tom Viertel, producer of the show.

from broadwayworld