I’m back. Despite my promises, I haven’t made a blog entry here since September. Of course, I haven’t been on one of my New York theatre binges since last spring. Lots going on: I’ve been tied up helping to develop a new radio show called The Indie Film Minute, short review/reminders of the little independent films that might have been missed in theatrical release but are well worthy of renting. We’re just getting it off the ground, but hoping to generate national distribution. Have also been doing a pretty challenging acting stint for the first time in years, and reworking an old script of my own.
But now I’m back in the Big Apple, and delighted to be here. Am trying a new hotel this time, for me anyway: The Belvedere, on 48th between 8th & 9th … more economical but a nicely remodeled room, closet-sized, of course, as are all New York hotel rooms, and the windows open!!! I’m on the top floor, with a gargoyle outside my window and quite a cityscape below. It’s great to be back on a live theatre binge. When I’m in the hands of experts in the theatre, horizons move: Challenges loom, emotions get taxed, and smugness is dissolved.
It’ll be a busy week. Look for my responses to seven plays in the next five days: Close Up Space, The Mountaintop, War Horse, Chinglish, Richard III, Anything Goes, and Look Back in Anger. Several are crap shots, but taking chances is half the fun. I’ve seen and discussed War Horse before in this space, but was so moved I wanted to see it a second time just to better understand how its impact can be so effective. There’s an old fashioned musical, which I’d normally pass by, but this looks to be too much fun, and it’s Cole Porter, after all. There’s a remounting of one of my generation’s signature plays, and then of course there’s Shakespeare. I’ll try to keep up if you will.
The Next Day, Wednesday Jan 18:
As you can see, the sun’s out today. The eagle-gargoyles are magnificent, and make all worthwhile my shift away from familiar New York lodgings. Still… There’s something comfortable about the Princeton Club which I miss. It’s quiet, familiar, easy, and not outrageously expensive (altho more than here), and has great breakfasts, including the world’s best corn beef hash! And its neighborhood is not surrounded by 8th Avenue sleeze … Although they’re tearing down the low rises as fast as they can over here on the West side, in favor of more glass skyscrapers, of course — no where near as colorful or homey..
And did I say last night that this room at the Belvedere was nicely remodeled? Years ago I realized I could make a fortune designing hotel rooms, but I never followed up on it. I don’t know why. If anybody designing a hotel wants to pay me to consult, by all means let me know. I’ll work cheap, and nobody else seems to know how to do it. Why make a bathroom without handy towel racks, shelf space, a shaver outlet, a shaving mirror, or knee room? Or bedside reading lights that light up the whole room? Or a work desk height that’s not suitable for computer use, with all available outlets full? And who gives a *#$% about marble floors that present a tripline? But … would I complain? The view is gorgeous. The eagles keep me in line. And the room is clean and at a good price. Not that many New York hotels can make such a claim.