Fame begets fame. Times Square is a shimmering city of electricity, neon upon neon, animated corporate logos everywhere. It’s also filled, almost exclusively, with tourists. I felt a bit overdressed in my suit and tie.
We went to see Nine at the Eugene O’Neill, with Antonio Banderas in the title role. For the record, that man can act, sing and dance; he was damn good. A pleasant surprise was to see Nell Campbell playing a two-line supporting actress part. Oddly, she played a stodgy matron type. I wanted to stand up and holler, “It was great when it all begaaaan…” The book deserved more attention to detail in its construction. Arthur Kopit created less of a story and more of a situation: one man’s self-absorbed descent into debauchery and self-pity at the expense of his loving wife. Kinda like this blog, except less well-plotted. The music, by Maury Yeston, is rich and yummy.
I learned a new word in NYC. In San Francisco, some actors flash the words “New York” gratuitously and grotesquely, like a five-dollar bill stapled to their acting resumes. If you meet an actress who’s worked in New York she’s sure to tell you about it inside of your first five minutes talking to her. In her mind, the city’s name invokes money and power and talent and connections.
However, in New York itself, the actors are a bit more modest and direct: they’ve all got a big Broadway audition coming up, but currently they’re rehearsing for a nation-wide touring gig, please come if we get to San Francisco, won’t you?
Since it’s redundant for any actor at a New York party to claim he works in New York, the phrase of power among actors in New York is “bicoastal.” If you claim to be a bicoastal actor, you imply, without actually obligating yourself to the disclosure of messy business details, that you do stage and television work some days in New York, and you jet off to LA periodically to do TV and film work. If you are a bicoastal actor, you are in demand, you’re at the top of your acting game, and your teeth are very well aligned. Bicoastal actors typically will discuss the most recent TV show or film projects they’ve worked on in generic, round cadences, e.g. “I just finished up CSI for CBS,” beaming serenely, all the while maintaining an exceedingly low fat-to-body-mass ratio.
Yesterday, my friends Ben and Ari were married at the Brooklyn Lyceum, a converted bathhouse dating to the beginning of the twentieth century. The wedding was a sprawling, happy, improvised affair, with some inspired oompah dance tunes and artsy-fartsy New-Age toasts to the bride and groom. By design or not, it was a cross-section snapshot of the current New York scene of geniuses and hacks. And it was damned entertaining.
Fuck, I’m getting old. When did I turn into a social person?