Off-Broadway, Dinner With the Boys, by and starring Dan Lauria, at the Acorn Theatre in Theatre Row, is an amusing play about two hit men hiding out in the wilds of New Jersey.They have their boss visit them for dinner, with tragic consequences.
A Queen For a Day, by Michael Ricigliano, Jr. at the Theatre at St. Clements, features four actors, who starred in the television series The Sopranos on television. They certainly know how to play gangsters. David Proval wants to enter the witness protection program with the help of his lawyer, David Deblinger, and a government agent, Portia. All plans are interrupted with the arrival of the head of the Mafia gang, Proval's brother, Vincent Pastore. The opening night party took place at Skylark, 200 West 39th St, with guests from the The Sopranos like Federico Castelluccio and Al Sapienza, plus Tommy James.
The Spring season for the New York City Ballet has begun. I attended a program of four ballets, all choreographed by Balanchine. The highlight was the first one, Walpurgisnacht Ballet (from Gounod's Faust). It featured Sara Means, and she was simply brilliant. What a pleasure to see this remarkable dancer! Her speed, her turns, her leg extensions are marvelous. I have seen every ballerina with the company since 1951, and she is one of the finest. Ask la Cour was her excellent partner, and Alexa Maxwell was a wonderful soloist. Sonatine, and La Valse, both with music by Ravel, followed. The first is a charming pas de deux with Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz, and the second is a colorful ballet in two parts, featuring another splendid performance by Sterling Hyltin. The program concluded with my favorite ballet, Symphony in C, music by Bizet. The four ballerinas in each movement were superb. Ashley Bouder in the first and Maria Kowroski in the second were a delight to watch. It was another memorable night at the ballet. Balanchine would have been pleased.
I am the official photographer for the Theatre Hall of Fame, which each years holds a dinner following the ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre. This year, it took place at the Palm restaurant, 250 West 50th St. Seven of the eight honorees were present, including Susan Stroman, Marshall Mason, Blythe Danner, F. Murray Abraham, Alfred Uhry, Phil Smith and Frank Rich. It was a delightful evening.
Drama Desk held a reception for the nominees at New World Stages. Almost every one of them showed up to be photographed and interviewed. It was a lovely event, and I look forward to photographing the winners on May 31. The awards take place at Town Hall.
St. Martin's Press sent me an advanced copy of Judy + Liza +Robert + Freddie + David +Sue + Me, A Memoir, by Stevie Phillips. After I started reading it, I could not put it down. For all lovers of inside gossip, it has to be read. Stevie was the publicist for Garland, Minnelli, Redford, as well as many others, like a fellow named Pacino. She worked for Freddie Fields and David Begelman, and was best friends with Sue Mengers. Her life with celebrities was full of wild, and I do mean wild, incidents. She appears to be telling her life honestly, and you will be glad that you did not have to experience working with some of these stars. They were close to insane, because their addiction to illegal and prescription drugs, plus alcohol, clouded their brains.