Friday, March 11, 2005

I Heart New York

So having understood that they left the Christos Gates up for me and Mimi(they are goen today) and having lived through several years of Enid Nemy's insisting NYC was a many splendored thing, I began an active campaign to do what I would do in any other place I was visiting besides this one, ie: explore, take in, take advantage.
Thus it was that last night I went to the The-ah-tah, and caught what is arch-angeled as the Huge coming Hit: Spamalot. It is, indeed, a lot of fun, but its ass drags in the 2nd act. Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives, a statement with which I disagree, though there was certainly none in his because he was too drunk and died, but there certainly should be a 2nd one on the stage. Having established a high level of hilarity and invention in Act I, Mike Nichols lets us down in Act 2, and there are moments done better by Mel Brooks whom I no longer love, so it isn';t prejudice. A semi-offensive but highly comic number about not making it on Broadway unless you have Jews, done by the ultimate Gentile, David Hyde Pierce(not a lot of stage substance there, for all his advance publicity), the potentially searingly tastelessness was offset by a brilliant dance right out of Fiddler, But but but this is followed by a takeoff on High Jackman's amazing performance last year as Peter Allen, and a big marimba number, patently and screamingly gay. And an impressive man at Sardi's afterwards who had every reason to ah-dore the show(it was benefiting Friends Indeed, an org, to help those with Aids, an org for which he works, says he is both Jewish and gay, and his Jew was not offended, but his Gay was, as it was too much, one after the other, I agree, ' There is an astounding young Diva, Sara Ramirez, who rips the songs(not bad, by the way, which surprised and pleased me) apart on every possible level, and looks good if a wee bit chunky as the Lady of the Lake, so she should get superlative reviews, nominations for everything, etc. Hank Azaria who was the gay butler in Cage Aux Folles was better in that than in the many roles he plays here, including a gay Lancelot. And poor Tim Curry seems quite forlorn, being the only one who isn;t given anything great to do, and just keeps soldiering on, or knighting on, as King Arthur, a shame as he can actually sing. The songs, as I said, are more than good enough, and I love them because they hate everybody I do, especially Andrew Lloyd Webber. John Cleese cheats as the voice and feet of God, recorded, but Eric Idle said they could not afford his whole body. It will get great notices, I guess, but someone more perspicacious might wish for a little more, in print. We'll see. It will, however. be smash and the musical everyone wants to see except Mel Brooks.
I congratulated Mike Nichols, going up to him and saying, "Mike, Gwen Davis," and he said "You're right." He is quick.
Then this morning I rose at 6, battling a light snow with Mimi for her outing, and went to the First Amendment Breakfast, a regular feature of the Columbia School of Journalism, a panel moderated by Floyd Abrams, esq. who represents the New York Times and now Time Magazine for the two reporters in peril for not reporting their sources, while the putz Novak who blew the whistle on Valerie Plume, outing her as a CIA operative, goes merrily free, continuing to do mischief. Frank Rich was on the panel, sharp as ever about the new FCC definitions (and restrictions on their and the Christian Right;s idea of) Decency. Rich, I am happy to report, has gotten his Op-Ed column back, so Floyd said "Now everything will be all right."
Then I walked along Fifth Avenue and bought myself some green shoes for the St. Patrick's Day party in DC this Sunday that I will be going to at Mark Russell's, the clever and talented songster-satirist whose main targets are political, so I can hardly wait. Then a little bag to go with the shoes, then a little gift to me from Don for finishing my book. Oh, New York is a winter festival, Imagine if I had made any money. Then I walked through 'ART ROCK' three orange boxcars set up in Rockefeller Center, with pictures and weird art inside, I was a regular tourist,
Lunch at Circo's, celebrating my return, giving Marco a tote bag that reads 'Bali Deli', feasting with a new and good journalist friend with whom I share some concerns, then home to Mimi who had waited since 6 AM to go out for a pee. She is really a very good girl.
Tomorrow I will go to a 4 hour workshop on Gender at Hunter given by the former Lt. Gov of Missouri whom I met this morning at the 1st amendment breakfast. So my life is becoming more than a little full and I imagine will stay so as long as I keep an open mind, an open heart, and an open pocketbook.

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