Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. I don't know why, but I was knocked down all day. Couldn't concentrate. I had wanted to write about all the really great things I had experienced in the past few days, yet I just couldn't get past the loss of that man. I suppose that finally being in New York only a few miles away from where he was killed was the cause. I went to the Place in Central Park where they had named Strawberry Fields and placed a stunning mosaic in the sidewalk to commemorate his existence in The City. even got an autograph
I went to the 10:15 candle light gathering. There were at least 400 people. People were singing. Tears were flowing. I was freezing, but glad to be there. I came home and couldn't sleep. I was up at 3. Quite a day.
I must now get back into NYC mode, 'cuz lots has happened and I have been a very lucky lady.
I went to 3 book/CD signings. Love those. Free and up close and personal with Scott Allen, Portia de Rossi, and Crystal Chappell. Tam came up from Bltmo to see 2 shows which are closing far too early, Women on the Verge and Scottsboro Boys. Women was a bit weak on the Book side, but the cast is just 100% perfect. I've already given my rant about SBoys. I might have to go again it is THAT good.
So, if that wasn't enough, there are 2 more highlights that must be told. Monday, I was supposed to go to Patti LuPone's book signing...a legend of a Diva if there ever was one. I got a call from my friend Neal that he had an extra ticket from a friend who was not able to go to the Broadway Inspirational Voices. Now, if that sounds religious, you would be sort of right. It is a gospel choir composed of Bdwy singers, who just enjoy singing so much they have to work on their days off. Imagine a magnificent old church on Park Avenue, filled with glamorous people and Broadway luminaries (JM was there, but I didn't bother her) and holiday decorations to knock your eyes out. In walk 40 stunningly talented people who proceed to belt Christmas songs, so powerful and beautifully, that even I was ready to sign up to convert.
Sad songs, joyful songs, songs that shook the rafters. There were singers in the choir that are just the biggest Bdwy stars: Gavin Creel, Shoshana Bean, Celisse Henderson, Montego Glover, Marva Hicks, Phylicia Rashad, C.E. Smith, all people I know from shows...all stars...singing so sweet and loud that the angels were put to shame. I'm still drawing good memories from that night....holy moly it was wonderful!
Then Tuesday, Gypsy. Not that Gypsy, I mean the Gypsy of the Year. I was generously gifted a ticket to the biggest Broadway event of the season. Tom Flynn, the BEST Dr Dillamond ever to walk on a WICKED stage, had an extra ticket to the part contest, part fund raising event. They judge the Bdwy casts on non show acts and also announce which shows have raised the most $$$ for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS' Fall drive. The highlight of this year's show was the legendary Carol Channing. Frail from her terrible struggles with hip surgery and cancer, she had a strong man to guide her by the waist.
Damn it if she didn't gain strength right in front of us. She did a little dance and kick and stood in the center of the stage and soaked in the screams, applause and love of the 1400 some people in attendance. But no, she didn't keep that love bottled up inside to take home and enjoy, no, she gave it back in the form of a smile so big and bright that you needed sunglasses, she glowed like the star she is! I cried, so did everyone I sat with. We were privileged to be in the presence of a legend, a Divine Diva.
What a week. Thanks for reading, it was long, but I don't think I conveyed a tenth of the happy.