A Delicate Balance on The Twentieth CenturyDESTINATIONS
Happy Valentine’s Day!
|Pier-ing across to Jersey|
We scheduled four sessions of sitting for today so first thing we headed out to the High Line, the re-purposed elevated spur of an old railway, now a 2.5 km park, for a winter walkathon . It was cold, but not blustery, so slightly better than yesterday; it was no surprise only tourists and joggers were braving the terrain. We started at the grim and gritty 34th Street end, walking south to14th. Then we cut across the rim of the West Village and back up Avenue of the Americas. We passed the church that became a club called Limelight thirty years ago which brought back a few old memories.
For lunch, or brunch such as it was, we went two doors down to the Archer Hotel where chef David Burke has a Memphis glam reminiscent outpost called Fabrick which is a play on words that nobody gets. Sort of like Memphis was. Burke is frequently on chef shows, a (losing) competitor on Top Chef Masters; his food always looked incredibly appetizing but never with the neurotic flair of too many swooshes and tweezer laden edible flowers. Sorry David, you’ve been chopped. (Forgive me for too many foodie mixed metaphors. Call me the mix master. Ouch…) I would write that the food was amazing but in fact it was just competent; some French toast bites, deep fried with a caramel sauce were, however, suitably decadent.
|Side of bacon at the next table. A little too cheffy|
Post brunch we headed up to the John Golden to see Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Bob Balaban, Lindsay Duncan, Clare Higgins and Martha Plimpton in Albee’s A Delicate Balance.
|The Masque at birth|
the Theatre Masque in 1927, but was sold to the eponymous John who renamed it
in his own honour, now part of the mega Shubert organization. Recently, Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl
Jones did a revival of Driving Miss Daisy.
Not so recently, Beyond the Fringe did a two year stint (back in the 60s). And the late Mike Nichols did a year there at
the beginning of his career with his then comedy partner Elaine May. A play called Angel Street with Vincent Price
did a three year run here back in the 40s.
|A beautiful Valentine’s dessert at DB Bistro|
Off to a musical at eight. The American
Airlines Theatre aka Selwyn Theatre opened in
1925. Played Kaufman/Ferber’s The Royal
Family as well as Design For Living, and a few other plays that have lived on
into revival history, but in the mid-30s became a cinema. Showed a couple of plays in the late 40s but
then became, mainly, a seedy Times Square all-nighter with its share of drunks,
addicts, insomniacs and so forth.
|The Selwyn Theatre, 1990, pre-reno|
$8 million in renos later, it opened as the American Airlines Theatre. It is a relatively big house, but wide and squat and about as intimate as you can get for a 740 seater. We had tickets for the first Broadway revival of On The Twentieth Century (since Madeline Kahn made the debut, infamously walking away from the production after only nine weeks). Interestingly, Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche
appeared in the play, Twentieth Century, from Macarthur and Hecht’s script of
the movie, which starred Barrymore and Lombard, in 2000.
Brian Bedford did his infamous Lady Bracknell here too. And last time we were in New York we saw the
Odets’ revival of The Big Knife with Bobby Cannavale and an awesome character
performance from Richard Kind (George Clooney’s pre-fame best buddy aka for his
long run on Spin City).
|Hotel hallway art, three dimensional collage|