Thursday, March 19, 2009

Forbidden Fruits

Spring is still officially one short day away (thank Christ,) but just as the department stores start hockin’ Christmas in October, the impetuous gays of New York have already begun displaying their “ornaments”. It’s as though a siren sounds the moment that thermostat peaks above 45, and like firemen suiting up for a ten-alarm fire, homos from every borough leap into their tank tops, short shorts and flip-flops and rush to the nearest cafĂ© to put their names down for outdoor seating.

Hold the cleavage, Gays! We’re not quite there yet.
Personally, I keep the mink on through early May.

This week I dropped by Birdland (my favorite of all the lands) to check out one of my very favorite funny ladies, Christine Pedi. (Also to pay respects to a few of my favorite pomegranate martinis.) Best known for her hilarious long-term relationship with the late, great Forbidden Broadway, Pedi offered a delightfully eclectic and jazzy little concert. One of the highlights for me was a moving combo of “Will Someone Ever Look at Me That Way” from Yentl, and George and Ira Gershwin’s “But Not for Me” – two songs very near to my heart, as I perform them nightly for my cat. *sniff, sniff, teardrop down my cheek*

Not surprisingly though, the main attraction was Christine's grand finale – a medley from Chicago as brilliantly performed by the many divas who inhabit her. The woman is a little freaky. I mean, her Angela Lansbury is more authentic than Angela Lansbury's Angela Lansbury.

And speaking of Lahnz’bree… I also recently caught a performance of Blithe Spirit, the new revival of Noel Coward’s classic comedy. I thought it was absolutely charming! Angie’s performance as Madame Arcati, the eccentric medium, is damn near spotless and gratifyingly conjures a little Nellie Lovett; Rupert Everett – making his Broadway debut – is top shelf as novelist Charles Condomine (though his performance conjures a different kind of nelly, entirely;) a Tony nod for Jayne Atkinson’s acerbic portrayal of Charles’ second wife Ruth would not surprise me; and Christine Ebersole is fabulous as the restless spirit of Charles’ first wife Elvira, and looking especially gorge in this one.

During blackouts, texts setting up each subsequent scene are projected onto the main curtain, and are accompanied by all-too-brief recordings of Christine singing tunes of the era (Irving Berlin’s “Always,” for one.) I loved this, and so I was thrilled when after the show, back in Ms. Ebersole’s dressing room (hi, I’m fancy,) Christine mentioned the strong possibility that she would lay a couple of those tracks down for a new CD! Here’s hoping, Mutherdarling!

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