It wasn't as if I was trying to sneak into New York City. I came to do a show with my friend Jamie deRoy and I was planning to be here for only 48 hours. I knew I wouldn't have time to see friends and relatives. So I decided not to, as they say, alert the media and come incognito.
As we crossed mid town from the airport some of the streets were blocked off with construction, and it was a slog to get through Times Square. It's always exciting in the theatre district, especially if you are in a car and not the one driving. For me it was like coming back to a second home. As I am lamenting the fact that I didn't have more time to stay, I look up and there on the Magnetron Video Screen at 7th and 47th, bigger than life, is my picture. Yes, forty feet above Broadway as if to say "Welcome back, Jay" is my publicity picture. It was part of a video ad for the show I am coming to do with Jamie. The ad didn't cycle back around before the car moved on so I didn't get a snap shot of it, but I was not delusional there it was, my five seconds of Times Square fame. At the same time I thought to myself, well there goes any attempt to come to New York incognito.
The apartment where I stayed in the Theatre district came with a framed poster of my show, a Tony and an Ovation Award on the shelf, both with my name on them. The doorman, Angel, even said "welcome back" as I entered. It's the apartment of my friends and the director/creators of my show, Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel.
My iPad and iPhone immediately connected to the wifi as if I had never been away. Walking out for lunch I ran into an acquaintance on the street, like you do in New York. I'm still not sure what his name is but New Yorkers can have a ten minute conversation with any one for five minutes. What are you doing in town? How long will you be staying? Where are you staying? Did you see any shows? Isn't the weather nice? (Or Isn't this weather shitty)? The weather was at that time perfect and I once again felt like the King of New York.
I get to the show and I am sharing a dressing room with, Larry Gatlin, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Robert Cuccioli. I as I walked in I said, "Oh I think this dressing room is one Leading Man over the limit." The ladies dressing room was way over the limit in Divas, Michelle Lee, Joy Behar, Luba Mason and Daisy Jopling. This was not only The Jamie deRoy and Friends show, it was also Jamie's birthday and a benefit show for the Actors Fund. The musical director was Ron Abel who is accompanist and conductor to the stars. As we say in Texas, "I was in high Cotten".
We were performing in the Gene Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Law. With my dyslexia I kept seeing Jay John Law College posted everywhere. In my wired mind It was like I owned the building.
Things could not be more ripe for having a narcissistic over load. In my mind I am standing on a balcony in a flowing white dress with arms outstretched singing to the masses below, "Don't Cry For Me New York City you know I never left you".
It is such a memorable moment I want to keep a program of the evening to never forget. I grab one of the programs from an usher, turn the pages to instantly see the stellar cast of which I am a part. Here is what it said:
So much for the fleeting fame of the great white way.
It is a grey and rainy morning as I sneak back to LA. "Broadway giveth and Broadway taketh away, long live the denizens of show biz. "
As you were,