Sunday, April 09, 2017

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG ('Wrong' is supposed to be red - can't change the color so even the title here is WRONG


        This is my kind of play to write about because if I my grammar or spelling is wrong, “Hey, everything goes wrong in this play. I’m Just going along with the theme.” 

     Full disclosure - I have a teeny investment in this play. What sold me? 

  1. It’s in it’s forth year in the West End playing to a packed house each night.

  1. It won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy (England’s Tony award)

  1. The Lyceum Theatre is small and intimate (950) Not a bad seat in the house. 

4. Theatre goers need mindless and silly these days.

   And, mindless and silly it is! I took my friend Debbie to opening night. I knew she’d love it. She’s been laughing at my jokes for thirty years, so she obviously has a highly developed sense of humor. 

  The show is a show within a show. The Murder at Haversham Manor is the play that’s doomed by dead bodies moving, scenery collapsing, actors colliding and lines muddled. 

   It’s hilarious to see and best of all each movement is done with incredible precision. It’s a circus in the best sense of the word. 

   Written by three crazy Englishmen, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, who I couldn’t wait to see at the afterparty at GUSTATINO’S (a very cool place that is actually underneath the foundation of the 59th Street Bridge.) When else would I be able to use the word “bloody” as I rave about a performance? 

   I wasn’t able to catch them, but I did see Director Mark Bell, and a few of the the producers, Kevin McCollum, J.J. Abrams, Kenny Wax, Catherine Schreiber, Ken Davenport, Corey Brunish and Jamie deRoy. 

   None of them are English so throwing in “bloody” every other word kinda made them stare at me oddly and move away quickly.

   I was having a ball, anyway, first taking a photo with Debbie, then stalking Stephen Colbert for a selfie and by tackling J.J. Abrams I got a reddish bluish photo with him. (there was reddish bluish lighting in the room and of course, I don’t know how to adjust the color) I turned to ask J.J. but he was already gone. 

    Buy a ticket to THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG. I will make about four cents on it, and you’ll have a bloody good time.



Monday, April 03, 2017


My significant other, Mickey, was out of town, so my old high school buddy, Lily, dragged herself from Brooklyn in a downpour to meet me at the Booth Theatre to see Broadway’s SIGNIFICANT OTHER.

    From what she had read she couldn’t relate to the premise of the story. I had to promise her Kit Kats and M & M’s.

   “Barbara Barrie plays a widowed grandmother to a twenty something grandson” she whined. “Who cares? I’m not there yet. And I don’t need to listen to kids younger than mine grumble about finding thee one. Been there and done that.” 

    Finally, the play began and finally Lily shut up. By the time Sas Goldberg (Kiki) spoke her third line Lily was laughing and choking on her M & M’s. I was laughing, too, and bursts of howls bellowed from around the theatre. 

   There were soft, teary times too and because the cast was extraordinary those moments were genuine.

    Jordan Berman, a gay 29 year old is played by Guideon Glick, a gay 28 year old. Yes, acting was still required. He was charming and vulnerable as he cried and ranted each time his best friends Kiki, Vanessa (played by the fabulous Rebecca Naomi Jones and Laura played by the very talented Lindsay Mendez) found the love of their lives and beat him to the alter. 

    Barbara Barrie, (Helene Berman) plays a widow who are like many widows I’ve counseled, not quite broken, but not quite whole. She attempts to be to Jordan what all of us grandparents strive to be, wise and beloved. 

   In the end she persuades her grandson to imagine his life like chapters in a book and his next best thing could be a page away.

    As the audience jumped to their feet to give the cast a standing ovation Lily stood right along with them. After she wiped the chocolate from her teeth, my buddy, producer Jamie deRoy led us backstage to meet the cast. 

    I am excited to report to you that Ben Stiller, his wife and teenage daughter were there! They were friendly and outgoing and I overheard Barbara Barrie say as she hugged Ben, 

   “Remember how we used to call you Benji?” She squeezed his cheek and looked at him lovingly like he was still six years old. I could tell he loved it. He may have blushed, but he had a deep tan so it was hard to tell.

   It must be cool to be ‘babied’ by an actress who was nominated for an Academy Award, an Oscar and three Emmy Awards. The closest I ever came to being babied by a celebrity is when Hugh Jackman accidentally stepped on my foot and said “Sorry, Baby…” 

    We all took photos and got a chance to tell John Behlmann how great he was playing three roles, Will, Conrad and Tony. Also, we posed with Luke Smith who was fantastic as Zach, Evan and Roger. 

   SIGNIFICANT OTHER turned out to be a wonderful theatre experience. Someone please tell Joshua Harmon, the playwright that Lily gave it two thumbs up. I’m sure he’s been holding his breath.   



Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Bite Before I Die

I'm lazy. I feel guilty when I'm not writing, but I guess not guilty enough to write. Anyway, enough

about me. How are you? Have you missed me? least noticed that I was gone?

Today's blog - well, I wrote this because there I was at my cousin Sara's baby shower last month and

Cindy, my other cousin said, "My grandmother was allergic to caffeine so she couldn't eat much

chocolate. She loved chocolate. When I was little she made me promise that if I could catch her as

 she was dying, I should put some put some chocolate to her lips. I just want a bite before I die"she

told her.

 I said, "A Bite Before I Die? Great title!"

About 7 of us decided to write an essay with that title- no particular length or subject. We knew, of

course our stories would be diverse so we couldn't wait to see who wrote what. We gave ourselves a

two week deadline (which works wonders for lazy people like me) and this is what I came up with.

                                                                A Bite Before I Die

 He took good care of me. I had my own bed, a fenced in yard that often smelled of freshly cut grass, and the flowers, oh those flowers, the scent of sugar.

 I wasn’t allowed sugar. I craved the taste, so the smell had to do. Sometimes when we snuggled, he’d say, “Give me some sugar, honey.” I’d kiss him sweetly, but I never quite understood how I was supposed to give him sugar, or anything, actually. He was my man. I was his dog.

 When he cooked, the aroma from our kitchen was overwhelming, but I was, “A good boy” and learned not to jump and beg. My only hand-out would be dropped by mistake, not given on purpose. Max, the toy poodle next door (I was a Boston Terrier) would tease me, “Pepper, your human doesn't

 love you. Mine gives me spaghetti and meatballs right from his dish. Sometimes, he lets me lick his
ice- cream cone!”

 I’d begin to salivate right there, but I’d cover with, “You bark and bark so your human feeds you just to shut you up!” I’d think to myself, I’m a good boy, but where has it gotten me? Kibble and doggie treats! What are those white things? Marshmallows! Oh, just a bite before I die…

 And, then, I got sick. I’d been slowing down for some time, needing to back up and give myself a running start to get up on the couch. Soon, I couldn’t reach the top cushion at all. My human had to lift me. I seemed to slip into old age just as fast as my human could say, “Wanna go for a walk, Old Man?” Now he called me “Old man.”

 One night he let me sleep on his bed all night. That had always been forbidden. In the morning, my body ached like I had run for an hour in the dog park, but I hadn’t. My human kissed the top of my head and said, “Want a sugar cookie, Pep?” Uh, oh… this is it. I must dying, I thought.

 I tried to communicate that yes, of course, I want a damn sugar cookie! Hadn’t he noticed that I frantically lick the kitchen floor when he opens the bag? “Daddy, look at me! What I really want is one of those white things!”

 My eyes had already closed for the last time and my doggie soul was hovering above my still body
when he came back into the room. The last thing he said to me before he realized I was gone, was
“Sorry, Old Man. We are fresh out of sugar cookies.”

 These days I romp around a small apartment,reincarnated as a Beagle. My human is a nice middle- aged divorcee who drinks a cup of hot chocolate every night. By barking my head off, I’ve trained
her to toss me three mini white things while she sips.

I’m getting a little tired of those white things, though, and I sure do miss that nice big yard with the sweet smelling grass and flowers.