Friday, September 19, 2008
Last night I went with my friend Jay to the opening night of “A Tale of Two Cities,” a new musical on Broadway. Jay is a theater critic for the paper where I used to work in Sarasota, Fla., and this production got its start at a theater there. The opening was quite an event -- the men in black tie, the women in beaded, shimmery gowns. (I just wore my suit, which worked OK, since it’s dark. I didn’t see any need to try to procure a tuxedo.)
I enjoyed the production, which is smart and well-paced, and the music is pleasant. The performances, set design and costumes are terrific. Unfortunately, there’s no catchy number to latch onto -- nothing that you leave the theater humming -- and the show seemed a bit derivative of “Les Miserables” in its overall look. But given the time period and setting, I’m not sure how you’d avoid that.
When we first sat down, I noticed an older woman in front of us, quite beautiful and dressed in a beaded white jacket. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t figure out who she was. She was eating a huge Hershey bar. Then her companion, introducing her to someone, gave her name: Celeste Holm.
So during the show I was partly distracted by the fact that I was two seats away from a Hollywood legend.
After the show, Jay and I went to Cipriani on Wall Street for the opening night party, a huge affair with an open bar and bazillions of people (far more than were at the actual show). I had a couple of gin & tonics and just soaked in the scenery, chatting with people from Sarasota. We were probably the only people celebrating on Wall Street yesterday.
I left with a swag bag, containing some very bizarre items like foot cream, wrinkle cream and something for painful joints. (Very Sarasota, this swag bag.) About the only thing I kept was a box of Le Petit Ecolier biscuits; I gave the rest to Jay.
Home at 1 a.m. What a night!
Addendum: The New York Times hated it.
(Photo: Stencil in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Sept. 2008)