They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway
They say there’s always magic in the air…
Every time I go to New York, it’s a whirlwind; it’s a blur. It’s colourful and intense and magical. It’s full of contrast.
I tend to relive unusual moments from previous visits in snatches — oh yes, there was the time on Broadway that Joan Rivers stepped on my sister’s foot and didn’t apologize…and the time I saw one of the stars of Knots Landing, David Selby, looking sad and alone in a New York restaurant, and the time we saw Oprah Winfrey entering Tiffany’s with her entourage (or was that just my imagination?)…
I remember my first Broadway show back in 1982. Ellen Burstyn starred in a one-woman show called 84 Charing Cross. I was bowled over by the rich and intricately decorated theatre (I think it was the Nederlander) and was held rapt for a few hours by her tour-de-force performance.
Since then, I flash back to Kathleen Turner lolling about on a bed in a silk dressing gown in Indiscretions, Tyne Daly belting it out in Gypsy, Twiggy and six-foot-six Tommy Tune dancing up a storm in in My One and Only, Paul Giamatti making his Broadway debut in Arcadia, the emotional power of Les Miserables, the pride in watching Canadian Brent Carver star in Kiss of the Spider Woman, the surprise of David Hyde Pierce in a role so unlike Niles in Frasier in Curtains, and the thrill of seeing hero Alan Alda playing in the urbane and witty play Art.
Somewhere in there I remember laughing at Lily Tomlin’s amazing characterizations in her one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Thirty years of Broadway shows do become a bit of a blur from this vantage point, but ah, what a beautiful blur!
This time I saw the musical Lady Day, featuring the incomparable Dee Dee Bridgewater as Billie Holiday, one of my favorite jazz singers.When I closed my eyes, I really thought I was listening to Lady Day herself.