Thursday, November 09, 2006

On Broadway

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- when the phone rings, it could be anything. Usually something great. This week, it was the opportunity to interview Sutton Foster, Tony-winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Tony-winner Beth Leavel, both of whom are currently appearing in the Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone. I remember when both won their awards -- I was watching from my couch in my pajamas when they delivered their acceptance speeches. And now...I talked to both of them about that moment, about the thrill of opening night on Broadway, and how the wedding aspect of this musical ties in to being an actress on Broadway. Sutton and I talked about her wedding last month, and Beth and I talked about her wedding 24 years ago. Both are delightful, which thrills me to no end. I love it when great, good-hearted people reach such great heights, and their enthusiasm for their art was positively infectious. These women have such an electricity about them, they glow over the phone. After I hung up, I had the most amazing feeling of being renewed, recharged...plugged back into my own passion for my art. Sometimes the light dims, and a conversation like this turns in into a beacon.

So here's my insight for the day: make time to talk or be with people who inspire you, those who are where you want to be. If you can't reach them personally, reach them peripherally by listening to their soundtrack, reading their book, even reading their bio on their company Web site. I walked away from these conversations focusing not on a brush with Tony-winners, but on a brush with creative joy, fellow artists who worked and worked at their craft, always knowing they'd get there someday.

I can't share the advice they gave or the content of the article I wrote -- you'll see that in an upcoming issue of New Jersey Bride -- but I can tell you to go see The Drowsy Chaperone, either as a date with your partner, as a family outing, as the bridesmaids' outing, in place of a traditional bachelorette party, as a wedding weekend activity. I've just called Ticketmaster to get my 4 tickets, and I absolutely can't wait to see these great actresses shine on stage. If you haven't seen this show yet, it's about a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to escape show business by getting married. Her producer is trying to sabotage the wedding, and there are gangster pastry chefs, among others, playing out the spectacle. Sounds like some people's weddings, doesn't it? That makes it the perfect show for me. So go get your tickets while Sutton and Beth are still in the show.

What a blessing, in the midst of a crazy week, to get to talk to such inspiring women. I'm overwhelmed.

And speaking of overwhelmed, last night was the celebration for my sister's 40th birthday, which we attended at the 21 Club in New York City. We were told we had the same table that Frank Sinatra used to call 'his table,' which was quite special to my sister. A great meal, some fun reminiscing, my brother's hilarious sense of humor, and that 3 hour ride in the rain for a trip that usually takes 40 minutes was worth every hydroplane. Our driver Ali was from Turkey, so we learned some Turkish, heard about the beauties of Istanbul, learned about Turkish cuisine, and then we taught him on some Italian and Ukrainian key phrases. So in 10mph traffic, we had a cultural summit. Punctuated by my parents' adorable fascination with the GPS system. My Dad's health is improving. He was able to go out for dinner. That makes the night a success. The capper? My brother remembered that my Mom collects matchbooks from all of our vast family travels, and he presented her with one from 21.

So in this week of chatting with actresses who, in my opinion, have revitalized Broadway together with Idina from 'Wicked', sitting at Frank Sinatra's table, and reliving our long, long list of memories from our lifelong charmed family history, the best part of my week was being warm and cozy under three blankets with Joe, watching a History channel update on UFO conspiracies, eating homemade chicken soup, doing foot massages, and planning for Thanksgiving. I'm half publishing machine, half domestic bliss angel. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Gotta go...the Rutgers game is on. Joe and the boys are in attendance so I'll be glancing at that while planning my upcoming fall bridal show appearances. Looking for great bridal shows? has a page full of them, listed with Web sites and contact info. Enjoy the shows!