During the busy season for Dan’s Papers this summer, I was invited to a Hamptons International Film Festival afterparty at a poolside home hidden in the woods of Easthampton.
It was a picture-perfect day and there I met Hamptonite Wendy Federman, the talented, multi Tony Award winning Broadway producer.
For years I had been receiving her company’s press releases, and now she was sitting next to me enjoying the company of many theatre and film people.
We instantly bonded. She is a fiery woman, standing 5 feet tall with blonde hair and a beautiful face, and has produced more than 90 Broadway shows, a true “Power Woman.”
When she called last week and asked me to be her “date” at the opening night of “Company,” one of the shows she recently produced, I instantly accepted.
The great Patti LuPone returned to her brilliant role of Joanne, starring alongside a show stopping cast led by Katrina Lenk.
Wendy and I decided to have dinner before the show and I wanted to go to Skirt Steak, a new restaurant in the Theatre District owned by world famous Chef Laurent Tourondel. I had just met him and his partner at his newest addition in Westhampton, LT Bar & Grill. I had taken my grandkids there a few weeks ago for the restaurant’s juicy burgers, but we were blown away by their over the top and delicious ice cream floats! Worth every calorie!
We headed to Skirt Steak, but sadly they had an emergency and were closed. After four calls, we finally got reservations at well known Bridgehampton icon Bobby Van’s restaurant on West 45th Street, just down the block from the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, where “Company” was being performed. I learned many years ago that the theatre streets are always jammed at show time and the safest bet is to eat near the show. Success!
To my amazement and delight, the theatre district was alive and hopping! People were everywhere and the dazzling lights of Broadway and Times Square were as they had been before the pandemic.
When we pulled up to the theatre, there was a line wrapping around to the corner. I could feel the electricity and excitement of the people waiting patiently to be vetted for their vaccination cards and IDs in what turned out to be a sold out, standing room only performance.
Adding to the thrill of the first performance was to see the 91-year-old lyricist and music genius Stephen Sondheim, who was there in the orchestra seats and received a tribute of endless standing applause and bravos from the audience.
Everyone was in a party mood and was given a party hat and gift bag to celebrate the long-awaited reopening after the show had to close because of the pandemic. They were back full-blast!
First produced in 1970, “Company” reveals the story of Bobbie (now a girl) celebrating her 35th birthday and it is as fresh and meaningful as it was back then. Love, fear, friendship and joy are eternal emotions and are set to exhilarating song and dance.
I was in awe as one performer after another received well deserved standing ovations throughout the show.
The songs “Sorry-Grateful,” “Have I Got A Girl for You” and “Getting Married Today” were among my favorites and were magnificently performed to thunderous applause.
Being there made me feel truly alive — I forgot how much I loved going to Broadway shows and even if everyone was masked up, it was great to be back!
So, treat yourself to a show and support the great talent on the magical stages in the greatest city on earth.
Birthday celebration (VICKI3 and VICKI4 should go with this section)
Terrace on the Park, my go-to destination to host our events, was my “home away from home” before the pandemic. As I drove up into their parking lot, they had the exterior lit up with brilliant blue and ruby red lights on Friday night.
I was there to celebrate the brilliant business leader and Terrace on The Park owner George Makkos’ birthday.
When I entered the jammed parking lot, I realized parties were back!
I was happy to be there to celebrate with George, his family and friends, and I was delighted to see the iconic symbol of our city be able to open up for parties once again!