I’ve been traveling, as you know, capitalizing on my right as a Manhattanite to “late August”—now a verb—when absolutely everyone seems to be on vacay, and the New York landscape becomes a veritable ghost town. PS—awkward segue—“Ghosttown” is my preferred track from Madonna’s REBEL HEART, show soon to manifest at MSG (September 16th & 17th). I have to be a little nicer to my pal and upstairs neighbor, Shane (below, squatting on the right), who happens to be a stuntman on the tour. I stole this pic of him with the dancers.
On Tuesday, I was honored to attend a celebray for my number 1 recommendation in the way of fall reads, HOTEL LIVING. Handsome author Iaonnis Pappos’ book follows the deliciously-hectic path of a young Greek man, fired through the canon of Euro Business School shenanigans (nearly) straight into a debaucherous net of excess and American Psycho-esque style. Humorist/performer Mo Rocca was on hand for a brief interview with Pappos, followed by the reading of an excerpt by actor Christian Coulson, who I know from the world of HARRY POTTER, THE HOURS, and other favorite flicks.
The evening was sponsored by Paul Goerg Champagne, held in the lovely back garden of The Waverly Inn, a favorite restaurant of the Obamas, I happen to know. It was an affair befitting the fiction; I ran into fellow-Theatrist Mike Albo (I love everyone in my writer’s group at the Public) and social media guru Lisa Goldenberg, as well as Caffe Vivaldi staple, musician Mark Radcliffe. I was privy to read an early draft of HOTEL LIVING, and I knew it would score big with readers. Still, my eyes popped a bit when I saw the book pictured above the new Tana French novel in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. I hope HarperCollins printed generously—I found my copy here:
Fall theatre also has my hair standing on end—or it’s the Propecia. Three debuts have ushered in a hopeful season—well, at least two of them. SAVING GRACE may need to pray a bit harder. But HAMILTON’S 30-some million dollar advanced sales and the Jim Parson vehicle, AN ACT OF GOD, came in with a vengeance. AAOG is already closed, neatly recouping thanks to the popularity of the wry-mouthed BING BANG THEORY star. If Neil Patrick Harris taught us anything in 2015, it was the (reinforced) notion that celebrity equals box office, for better or worse. David Bowie will be flouncing around the New York Theatre Workshop stage this fall (LAZARUS), and lest we forget about Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf in MISERY (kind of obvious casting on the psychopath front—SCREAM 2, etc…) I’m also looking forward to the Raiders-style rolling boulder that is THE WIZ, powerhousing its way onto Broadway and television later this year.
Happy to see old friend Telly Leung in ALLEGIANCE with Facebook junkie and Leftist whistle-blower George Takei. For us Gen X-er Broadway-ers, Lea Salonga rounds out the cast. Takei spent a portion of his childhood in an internment camp; I’m all for the authenticity brought to the project. MTAT has been busy booking tickets for upcoming travel groups; some lucky ducks will be experiencing the evolving stage adaption of SCHOOL OF ROCK, and interacting with cast members via workshops. First Andrew Lloyd Webber musical in at least 32 bars. Will it be a PHANTOM, a STARLIGHT EXPRESS, or Sutton Foster-forbid, THE WOMAN IN WHITE?
MY TOP FIVE ARTS PICKS FOR FALL 2015:
1 read HOTEL LIVING by Ioannis Pappos
2 watch AND listen to Deaf West’s revival of SPRING AWAKING (in English and American Sign)
3 score tix to Madonna’s REBEL HEART TOUR
4 see a woman direct Mamet on B’Way for the first time (CHINA DOLL w/ Al Pacino)
5 digest KING CHARLES III (a more accessible British play than WOLF HALL or THE AUDIENCE)