Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Morning After

Again with the coat and tie. This time for lunch at the renowned Four Seasons Restaurant. (Only in NYC would the Four Seasons Restaurant and the Four Seasons Hotel be two, unrelated businesses.) Designed by Philip Johnson and housed in the revolutionary Seagram Building, I had one of the all-time great lunches today. Humbly describing itself as “America’s Premier Restaurant” – this actually may not be an overstatement.

Though I was seated in the “less desirable” Pool Room, I was treated like a King. I loved the way the room was perfectly designed to see who else was eating there. No wonder Esquire Magazine coined the term “power lunch” to describe the daily ritual at the Four Seasons.

I went way out on the culinary edge and ordered a Caesar Salad, Steak and a Baked Potato. Very daring. Desert was an excellent “Velvet Chocolate Cake” that even my chocoholic friend, Cary Davidson, would approve of. (Cary, tell them to hold the strawberries.)

I was so taken by lunch that I actually bought the book telling the 40 year history of the restaurant. Fortunately, the captain put the book and a lovely carrying bag discreetly on the seat next to me, rather than on the table, so I didn’t look like a TOTAL tourist.

This afternoon I saw “Little Women – the Musical” which is currently in previews. It was very enjoyable and Sutton Foster turns in another dazzling performance, as a follow-up to her Tony winning turn in “Thoroughly Modern Mille. (I saw her brother, Hunter Foster, currently starring in “The Producers” hanging out on a sidewalk talking to some folks last night. I really like the idea of a bother and sister both starring on Broadway at the same time.) Maureen McGovern as Marmee is wonderful and sings as beautifully as ever.

“Little Women” could win the Tony for Best New Musical next summer. (When I saw “Hairspray” in Seattle in June of 2002 I KNEW it was going to win the Tony the following summer. I called folks during intermission to tell them so.) I don’t feel as strongly about Little Women’s chances – but it’s possible.

The battle over public behavior continues. During intermission I had to let the woman across the aisle from me know how loud her constant knuckle-cracking was (at least she apologized and stopped.) Then I watched the House Matron tell a bunch of teenagers in the front row to take their feet down from the partition between them and the orchestra. She finished by telling them, “We’re on Broadway!” in the most disgusted voice I’ve ever heard. I gave her a “Well Done” as she walked triumphantly by.

Back on the subway I made the mistake of entering the station on the Uptown side of the tracks when I wanted to go Downtown. The only way to get to the other side at 8th and 50th is to go back upstairs, cross the street and re-enter the station on the other side. I pleaded my case that I shouldn’t have to pay twice to the guy in the tollbooth. You can imagine how well that went. He didn’t seem to agree with my advice that they should improve their signage. So I guess this story cost me about 30 cents a sentence. Maybe I should have told him I know Vinnie Noto.

In the evening I saw “Twelve Angry Men,” an excellent play about jury deliberations over a murder case. Great acting, gripping drama and a crackerjack production means “Twelve Angry Men” will win the 2005 Tony for Best New Play. And Philip Bosco will win the Tony for Best Actor in a Play – although this is such an ensemble piece that it’s a little unfair to single out one particular performance. Fair, shmair – he’s going to win.

My New York trip was capped off with a great dinner with my friends Cliff Smith and Dan Conrad at Diner 24 in Chelsea. This new restaurant features upscale comfort food (I had the turkey dinner.) It’s a fun place and a nice way to end my visit.

Tomorrow I’m going from NYC to South Florida via Los Angeles. Don’t ask. So this is probably my last entry in ’04. Happy New Year to everyone. See you in ’05.

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