Thursday, March 08, 2007

Everybody's In Show-Biz

A lot of shows rehearse at the New 42nd. It's right there on 42nd between Broadway and 8th.

My favorite thing about the place--I mean other than the actual work--is the elevator ride. First you have to go by the desk/security guys, who--despite the fact that you pass them every day and say a polite "hello" or "jeez, it's cold out" or "I see you cut your hair"--always ask for your pass.

You know you're in show biz when you're working at the New 42nd.

Also, you ride up in the elevator with Mel Brooks and Susan Stroman on their way to Young Frankenstein. Or you go out into the hall and wait in line with Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer for the bathroom. Or you go visit Lindsey because she works there all the time.

My favorite In-Showbiz-The-Grass-Is-Always-Greener story happened about two years ago. I was working with The Martha Graham Company and we were rehearsing next door to Denzel Washington and company as they were getting ready to take Julius Caesar to Broadway. I used to start a drawing in the dance studio and then sit in the hall, working on it, wishing I could be in the studio with Denzel.

So, I'm sitting there and Caesar is on break and I'm drawing away furiously, hoping to be discovered (again) and the cast next door is milling about, looking in the windows at the Graham dancers and Denzel turns to that guy from the Shawshank Redemption and says, "Wow. Can you believe we're rehearsing next door to The Martha Graham Company?".

So, I get up, say "excuse me" and go back in . . .


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