Saturday, February 20, 2010

Danny's Memorial Toast.

Last night, Jim and took the bus and the subway down to The Monster, a big gay club with a loud bar, a piano and a disco right at the Christopher Street subway. It's been a favorite of ours anytime we've been in New York, plus, I used to work in clubs down here.

Dylan told us to be there about 7:30. We found him right near the front of the long bar, which extends way into the room. A bunch of guys were crowded among a bunch of other crowded guys, and every had a Cosmo.

That's when Jim ran into Kevin Chamberlin, who was next to us, crowded into that corner under the big hi def TV, which was showing the Olympics downhill skiing. I kept wincing, wondering if anyone has ever sailed so far out that there was no more downhill slope.

So, they talked about Surflight Summer Theater. We have this great video of Kevin as a kid doing a song and dance number at the ice cream store next to the theater. "Better money!"

They reminisced about Joe Hayes. Kevin is enjoying great career right now. He Uncle Fester in the new huge Broadway musical, "The Addams Family,' which has been the subject of much conversation on the blogs and gossip columns, like Michael Riedel in the NY Post over certain problems with the show when it debuted in Chicago and had to change directors. Kevin was bubbling with energy and excitement about Jerry Zaks. Jim said he also loved working with him.

So, hopefully, it'll be a great show.

It all seems very exciting! I just finished reading the new book about Stephen Schwartz's musical career, andhe talks about how brutal it becomes when you have this huge beast of a show, with orchestra, sets, costumes, millions of dollars, etc. on your back. At the first meeting of "Wicked," when someone said, "This is going to be fun," he said, "No. This will not be fun."

I think that's why I like doing things simply. Set up. Do the show. Go home.

Around The Monster's bar, unplanned, were pics of Mae West (in a gay bar?), and it made us think of Danny again. He wrote a show about her. It was his magnum opus. He died two years ago.

Ah, life.

As Jim and I walked back to the bus, we passed by a building that used to house a club called "Waverly Waverly." I used to play that club under the name of Steve Austen. Some day I should resurrect Steve Austen. Or maybe I still am Steve Austen.

New York.

She's a hell of a town.
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