Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A selection of paintings from the Hotel Chelsea Halls.















The Stairwell
Looking Downwards from L8
And the view to the top.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Libby.

Libby. The Miss Kitty who drops in to visit most nights.


Libby on the March
She moves too fast to get a picture in artificial light. These pictures are from the short-films,
Libby Screen Test #1 & Libby Screen Test #2

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Catching Up. A bit...

Early hours of Tuesday Morning.


Can I narrate the weekend?

On Friday night I was joined by the always lovely Alison from the Upper Eeastside to see The Musical of Musicals, the Musical. [Sidebar] It was OK- a mistake to listen to the CD, I knew all the jokes.

Saturday afternoon was spent exploring SoHo and the village. 23rd St, directly outside my window had been set up as a market for the day so I was up by 10.ooam to see what the hell the latin music was about.
The big thrill was finding a shop called Patricia Field's / Hotel Venus in SoHo. [Sidebar Link] Apart from being interesting for it’s infamy and Sex and the City connecton she is also the only stockist for Boy George's hand-made t-shirts. I bought a few…





One of my Boy George B-Rude t-shirts
.

Saturday night was La Cage aux Folles about which I have already written. I think that it will and should win Best Revival even if my heart wants Charity to take it.


On a Saturday night the right thing to do was to come back to Hotel Chelsea. Libby, one of the floor cats came in to visit me. She moves too fast to get a picture of her, the digital camera is so slow in artificial light, but I made a couple of mini films of her before her human, Elizabeth, came to visit and take her home. We chatted for a while and agreed to see Glass Menagerie on Sunday afternoon. I didn’t dislike it this time but I still have lots of difficulties with the production.


Jessica Lange and Christian Slater in the Glass Menagerie


Otherwise, a substantial amount of time time just passes living at the Chelsea and taking in all the interesting people. Hotel Chelsea is home, it's like a frat house for people who don’t belong anywhere else.

Flowers from one of the residents for me. The people here restore my faith in bohemian ideals.


On Sunday night I finally crashed and slept until about 3pm Monday afternoon. I was hoping the weather would be good for crossing Brooklyn Bridge but nada. The weather is not expected to move out of the 40s or stop raining until Friday I believe.

Just now I’m shooting for another 8hour sleep before a gallery day tomorrow. Leading contender is someone in Brooklyn doing a Basquiat show.

Tonight I went wandering the neighbourhood and ended up at a local divebar. I didn't even finish my beer before I had met a very friendly local. Best I say little more in a PG15 blog.


Monday, May 23, 2005


I just found this Cecil Beaton portrait of Viva online. It seems that it could have been shot at Hotel Chelsea- I can't prove or disprove anything yet. The door appears to match on a brief scrutiny.

Later.

No, it's not the Chelsea, none of the details are right even taking the late 70s reorganisation into account.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

La Cage aux Faggots.

Tonight was La Cage aux Folles. It took me quite by surprise, I had wonderful fun with it. It's interesting how subtleties in the presentation highlighted how much we've changed, on both extremes of the 'family values' argument, in twenty years. Gary Beach as Albin, the drag queen, was camp in extremis but not at all 'weak'. I'm impressed by anybody who can drag real emotion out of 'I am what I am'. The equation 'feminine = weak' was utterly demolished by this reading. The drag queen histrionics were used comically but the character not reduced to a tragic clown. Indeed, in this version Albin emerges as a true 'matriach'.

The chorus choreography was spectacular beyond reason--:
9ft drag-queens doing cartwheels over the orchestra pit stuf. Sweet Charity has no hope for Best Revival against La Cage. I'm still trying to digest that a musical I saw when it was new can be up for the revival category. I'm not THAT old...

Goulet is an issue. He was doing a Hugh Jackman "BUT IM ONLY PRETENDING TO BE A POOF!". It goess far as putting his 'credentials' as a husband and father in the Playbill.

The weather has been a bit dull, nothing unbearable but rain in NY is no fun. Hell is Times Sq at 19:50 on a Sat, in a torrential downpour, with six blocks to cover before curtain. I find myself snarling at the 'tourists'.

Tonight I saw what happens when I lose my temper on a Manhattan frequency. For now I'll just say that I'm unlikely to be welcomed back at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas any time soon- I had a difference of opinion with the staff when I asked for a Rocky Horror ticket and got a ticket to that Star Wars crap.

Life is never dull in NY

Les Cagelles

SNL in Bed

I'm watching classic Saturday Night Live from when Steve Martin was young, wore three piece white suits and was obviously on serious drugs.
John Belushi when he was alive is spooky.

One word Kimmy, Gilda Radner. Kimmy, Gilda Radner

[So, probably 78 or thereabouts?]

Kinky Friedman just sang 'and now youre living at the old Chelsea Hotel' in a song that would seem to be called Dear Abbey. Is God teasing me or what? A new research task.

I Saw Kinky at the Basement in Sydney, he was quite amazing. Fucked up politics but great singer.

So, you're watching SNL retro in bed with me. Their imagining of what 'Jeopardy' would be like in 1999 was a mind twister. This is overstimulation exciting for this corn-fed hick. I end up awake until dawn.

They're mocking greenies concerned about aerosols and ozone holes. Nobody who lives under the hole in cities such as Sydney doubts that climate change is real.

I found the Kinky song during ads-

Dear Abbie
(kinky friedman)

From a friend of yours in texas
Whos had a little trouble finding love.
Im considered quite attractive
And Ive always been quite active at the club.
But the life I leads so lonesome.
That I wonder, abbie, if youve ever known
What its like to live in others dreams
And never have a dream to call your own.

Theres a divorcee in dallas,
Theres a girl whos much too young in idaho.
London bridge is falling down
And the clergyman is out of town
And theres a daughter no one wants in buffalo.

And Im wondering bout america,
Wondering if we lost more than the war.
Im just wondering if theres any silver lining left
Behind the golden door.

And dear abbie, abbie I just had to write.
Dear abbie, abbie is there any love in sight ?
Well, the last time that I saw you
You were living at the old Chelsea hotel.
Even though its been a while, hell
Even now it makes me smile
To think of how you tennis-shoed the bill.

And it seems like only yesterday
You fell off of the sea-saw and you cried
And your daddy lit the fireworks
In the backyard on the fourth day of july.

And dear abbie, abbie I just had to write,
Dear abbie, abbie, where are you tonight ?

-----
Isn't that weird? Militant right wing nationalism on SNL and at the Chelsea Hotel.

Inevitable I'm going to have to decipher who Abby is.

Ouch. Watching Belushi 'play' a paranoid coke burnout is a reminder the 70s took it's toll. I'm quite sure everyone on the show is on drugs. Is it naive of me not to understand that that is the point? Ironic ending to the skit- he ends up playing in the Fantasticks.

Wow- footaage of Time Sq when it was still sleazy. I do wish that I had seen that, the Times Sq where Charity danced for a dime and Andy Warhol picked up hustlers like, oh, Joe Dallesandro.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Renovating Dee Dee's

It rained in New York yesterday. I'd gotten up all enthusiastic about walking the Brooklyn Bridge but decided against it. So, apart from some local shopping I allowed the Hotel to entertain me. I've found the one things that sux about living at Hotel Chelsea. There's an entire world in here that could easily absorb all my time. I have to make an actual effort to leave sometimes.

One consequence of allowing me a day to potter about Hotel Chelsea is that the door to this room has been 'renovated' to honour Dee Dee. The Liza and Carrie signs went on when I arrived. The hotel all but forces me to put my visual mark on it. The signs also serve to help people find me, clear signage isn't a huge priority here.

One of the floor residents has said that she hopes I will leave the signs in place. I'm happy to do that and will defer to a resident as to whether it is a valid contribution to the Hotel's ambience.

The 821 and the number plaque had been painted over in the fecthing brown that see here, so I touched that up with a gold paintpen and outlined the sign with gold. Simply outlining it reveals how retarded I am but I tried!

At very least, something has been done to honour Dee Dee's residency. I'm even starting to think that it could be considered a DIY punk 'historic site plaque'. That's pretentious, isn't it?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Production pics


Kevin Cahoon as the Childcatcher.

Baron & Baroness Bomburst

The Dream Sequence

The Baron and two Vulgarians.

The Scrumptious Candy Factory

Chitty Bang!

Call me contrary, I absolutely adored Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It got through my thick layer of defensive cynicism. I'm unlikely to be convinced it doesn't deserve best new musical. Chances are pretty slim given that it's not nominated.

Sadly most of Manhattan condemned it well before opening night. I have to keep disabusing people of the idea that it's a Disney production.


This staging is much darker than the film, creeping up to the quite disturbing level of the book. I'm glad I'm not one of the several hundred parents currently pleading that the childcatcher is just a story...

Taken for what it is, spectacle derived from Panto, CCBB is plain good fun. Raul Esparza is superb as Caractacus Pott- I get why he's a star now, I'd only ever seen him sing Taboo. Jan Maxwell who played Baroness Bomburst was equally clever, the character is 100% comic villain, Cruella DeVille meets Natasha [as in Boris and].

The absolute show stealer for me was Kevin Cahoon as the childcatcher. Only complaint is that the role is too small.


I've read the critics but, as best I can tell, everyone was loving it- kids, adults, luvvies and tourists.

I sat with a [I assume] classically Jewish New Yorker, he spoke of arriving at Ellis Is after the war while most of his extended family ended up in Sydney. He had his grand-daughter who was such a delight. She was so enjoying playing princess for an evening, I had to indulge her and play gentleman to her lady.

The flying car is fantastic.

The magic of the Theatre really is something special, everyone should experience having Chitty fly over them.

[btw- fight for orchestra centre tickets to be in the thick of the fun]

I just can't imagine how anyone couldn't have fun with this show but I'm busy meeting my inner-child and such.

Chelsea Gothic

The Tower of Babel by night.
The two lit windows on L8 are my room.



Chelsea Gothic

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Purple People Eater

Wednesday 18

If you haven’t heard Judy Garland sing the Purple People Eater you probably should.


Today was yet another ‘set a target, see where I end up’ day. With vague intent to hit Macy’s / Bloomingdales / Saks 5th I took the uptown train one stop further than I have been yet and trusted to faith that I wasn't going to step out into one of the spookier bits of Harlem / the Bronx. As it turned out I was only at the bottom of Central Park. Central Park induced one of my trademark freakouts. It was unreasonably exciting to see the park, I got an angle on the Dakota and really felt I should have a big Broadway number a la ‘Im a Brass Band’ from Sweet Charity happening around me.

I skirted the park, choosing to leave it for a day trip when I have my map and a camera to get some special pictures. From the street I took I spotted the bank which is used in the filming of Ciao! Manhattan; dear Edie Sedgwick right on the edge of total burn out climbs around looking stunning amongst the ragtag of hippies in their beads and ponchos. Edie looks like an alien. Thank God for Edie, patron Goddess of too much eyeliner is never enough.

FAO Schwarz presented itself to me for inspection. That was a mixed feeling, the idea of such extravagance is still difficult for me. I’ve known what it is to trust in God to eat, something about $20,000 stuffed toys sits uncomfortably. My disregard for what I was seeing peaked when I saw the miniscule space devoted to books. A certain sadness at not having a child in my life to buy toys for stalked me all the way out of the building.

Heading along 5th next landed me at Bergdorf-Goodmans men’s store. I swallowed and decided that I wasn’t to look at all intimidated. As much as I enjoyed playing in the Galliano and the Paul Smith, there was nothing for me. I really don’t have anywhere to wear a $5000- Issey Miyake jacket. No matter how beautiful it was there are more 0’s in that price tag than I would part with for any clothing that wasn’t hand delivered by Vivienne Westwood.

Nobody in NY knows who Viv is? I had to explain her from scratch to a Saks5th salesperson who remained baffled. I don’t think Viv shows in NY but she can’t be unknown in the world’s most eclectic city?
Saks5th was much more my speed and even there it was largely stuff I wouldn’t wear except in a mental crisis. As for the prices… Too many zeroes, my dear Saks5th, too many zeroes. It probably helped me avoid insane purchases that most of the designers are trying to push the vilest of candy bright colours on us.

I don’t do bright colours very often. Circus-clown isn‘t in my repertoire of looks this year.

What I did stop for is a couple of little things from the first release of Bono's new Edun label. It’s all very PC, no exploiting the third world or sending five year olds down coal mines. ‘Eco-friendly’, no dolphins died to make these jeans, yadder-yadder. I’ve a certain respect for Bono that allowed me to have a pair of over-priced jeans and a t-shirt. Understated, up-market, street wear. I’m not confused, really.

Like any good fag son, I stopped and chose a perfume to take home in a Saks 5th bag for mother. If I even vaguely remembered what I bought I’d share. I simply chose the counters for a few of the classic houses and asked by demographic. I found a Greek-American salesperson who has spent a lot of time in Australia, even in my old neighborhood. She understood what I was after and chose the perfect small, elegant parfum in a beautifully detailed crystal-bottle. Very much a keepsake piece, now I have to hope that it smells good. My nose goes numb in those perfume pavilions.

Manhattan convenience made it’s point loud and clear when I discovered that St Patrick’s Cathedral is next door to Saks 5th! Before the guilt about spending even set in I was able to have my self-indulgence forgiven. I was just in time for lunchtime Mass in the Lady Chapel and took Mass with an amazingly poly-ethnic group of Roman Catholics. Very distinctly Irish, Hispanic and Italian forms of Roman Catholicism were all on show. It added something to my faith that we are in some sense a worldwide communion united via the Mass.

[For my new readers, I am not a Roman Catholic. I am an Anglican {Episcopalian} in exile from a heinously conservative local church governance. I take Mass with Romans happily but won’t sign up for all the Papal stuff].

By the time I walked all the way back down here I was well wrecked. Neither Bloomingdales, nor Macy’s, crossed my path. Next time. I did see Tiffany and a few of those icons. It’s remarkable how patient and efficient the staff people are at simply not seeing tourists looking for Audrey. I keep seeing shoes that are nearly the ones I want but not quite. I’m yet to find a truly extreme Edwardian square toe. There’s something about this city and shoes. Always with the shoes. I know very well that people notice I’m wearing cheap, solid, workboots with worn toes. They tell the truth about me, I’m comfortable with that.

After a little disco nap, I decided not to do a show but see what happened if I let fate take charge. The evening started chatting about libraries with someone seated in the lobby. Some local contacts dropped through and we had a few early birthday drinks for one of them. After midnight we had a few more, it was officially birthday time!

Weirdest bit of the night was hardcore StarWars fans queueing outside the cinema for first screenings at midnight. Some of the best costumed were brought in to be photographed, Darth Vader was unsettling, I had to calm myself it was only a person dressed up as an imaginary boogeyman. S/he even had the respirator breathing happening.

Daybreak approaches, best I grab a few hours before a long stretch of shows begins.


Monday, May 16, 2005


Playbill cover signed by Mireille Enos & David Harbour

Ms Turner Writes


Playbill with cast list page autographed by Kathleen Turner



Meet BeBe Bearwithme.

BeBe was adopted today at a totally mind ruffling ‘shop’ called Build-A-Bear Workshop. I guess a ‘concept store’- I started by selecting BeBe’s limp epidermis and having him filled to the chosen fullness. He was given a heart and bought some clothes from the absurd range of choices available. BeBe is seen here lounging in his boxers and Hawaiian shirt, his casual travel wear. He also got a leather jacket and a Yankees outfit. I suspect that I’ll be back for more- I was rushing.
Sunday 15.

Up and out early today imagining that I might find a market or festivity or such. My secondary plan, somewhat compromised by the diffident spitty weather, was Battery Park and maybe Staten on the Ferry. As it turned out, none of that was to be the case.

I walked several miles of downtown without quite finding the bottom of the island. I'll persist, has been a bit spitty wet and overcast today anyway- probably not a day for the staten ferry stuff. Instead i was in and out of the Village- found Canal and up to Bowery so vaguely TriBeCa I guess? Canal was a journey in itself. Endless occurrences of what seemed the same shop to me, fake watches, name-buckle belts and pashmina scarves.

Somehow I found myself on the approach to the Holland Tunnel without a sausage.


Unless anyone has any surprises or I'm confused, I have a no shows day tomorrow. I've had to reschedule Puttnam after something went wrong with my ticket, that's through to Tony's eve.

Otherwise, the last few have been Streetcar which I liked, an awful Glass Menagerie in which Jessica Lange sulked about not getting a Tony nom for three hours, Forbidden Broadway- fun and a bit sad.
it was their second last show before they leave after 22 years.

AvenueQ last night, with our glamorous cameo star, Alison of the Upper East, was possibly more fun than last time. The cast are well settled in and a I picked up a heap that I just missed last time! I had totally forgotten about the Bad Idea Bears. Just seeing them warrants some calculatedly degenerate behaviour. The new John Tartaglia is extremely fuckable if somewhat limited vocally. All the other originals are still in place and seem still to be having fun with it. Seeing AvenueQ with a relatively mainstream audience was interesting, it seemed everyone was having a good time.

Today was to have been a show free day but I fairly but stumbled on one of the few last few tickets for Kristin Chenoweth & Michael Cerveris doing one of the 'Encore' series concert. They drag out an old musicals and perform them in concert. More often than not they are obscure of rarely heard scores. We got something called the Apple Tree which was, very frankly, an awful musical. Three years before the Female Eunuch was published and one can only be thankful for Germaine. We had fun with how cringe inducing the dated sexist stuff was but dated, sexist humour can only be coated with irony for so long. The point, of course, is to hear unheard works, not to indulge in classics.


Kristin in the Apple Tree

It was absolutely gorgeous to see Kristin who is a performer beyond compare. She transcended the banal material to let her radioactive charm and impeccable comic timing make the most of what we had to work with. Kristin counts as a bonus diva- it was totally unexpected that I should hear her on this trip.

Hot Dogs and Pretzels in Washington Sq Park.

I like Washington Sq park, there's always something interesting happening. Today I sat down to drink a coffee and see what was happening.
Who could have predicted... the Hotdog filming?




Strecthing is key to portraying a realistic hotdog.

God bless NYU Drama Dept!


Only in New York. A hotdog eating a pretzel.



This is Showbiz, act serious!


Washington Sq Park on a Sunday. Note that the Hotdog man is still doing his thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


from my window. the glowing building is THE ymca of the village people song. many of my elders and betters have told stories of what went on at the 23rd St Y in the 70s. At the moment it's a gym, due to be converted into apartments.

from the 8th floor to w23

the sign in close up

Night view from my window.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Tower of Babel

Bugger!

Arrived for the show with the very long title including the word Puttnam to find that something had gone wrong in the processing of my ticket and the ticket cancelled. I was rather put out by this turn of events but did what could be done to rescue the moment. Decided at 19:49 that it wasn't too late to see something running to poor houses and set off. Somewhere I decided that I'd give Rent a shot and default to Brooklyn if Rent was sold-out.

I all but ran through the theatre district, frantic to find the New Amsterdam where Rent plays. For the first time I didn't have any kind of guide or map. I had to trust my memory. Those of you know about the usefulness of my memory as a navigational aid can stop laughing now. With still eight minutes before curtain I by-passed Brooklyn and the Pillowman convinced I could make it to Rent and back. Eventually I was reduced to collaborating with the pigs and asked a NYPD person.

The Policeperson tried, bless her heart, but she sent me to 40th. Rent is playing at 39th. What really stings is that if I hadn't gone into panic mode I could have visualised the poster that sat above my desk for years. At two minutes before curtain I abandoned all hope, resisted the urge to have a major tantrum, and took a cab home.

All that was sufficient that I'm quite content to have a couple of hours at my 'desk' taking in w23rd and blogging until Rocky Horror at midnight. I'm sure there are a million things that I could be doing but just looking at a what's on guide overwhelmed me. I don't like having clear plans disrupted, I get confused.

I've included a picture of the neon that marks out Hotel Chelsea. My room is sufficiently high that I look down on the sign, an unusual perspective. Obtaining this picture meant crawling out onto the suicide ledge and dangling the camera over 23rd but I got the shot.
The moral of all this? The police are not your friend and never to be trusted.



Tower of Babel- home to the whore of Babylon

Perfect Day

Friday afternoon, it's warm and sunny in New York. My room is big and open enough to be enjoying it while I potter about preparing for a busy weekend.

Playing my selection of favoured Lou Reed to let all the ghosts know that they are welcome and that I will respect their space. The thrill of being in New York for me is to make the same trip down to Bleecker St that Lou Reed sings about as I did today. Following in the foot-steps of my ancestors.

Lunch in the village was a good way to start to rebuild after a fairly hectic few nights. I like the village but I'm more comfortable mid-town, it's that little bit less sanitary.

Hotel Chelsea is treating me better than I could have ever have hoped. I understand that some people would find it all a bit too Bohemian but I can't imagine a more perfect place in the world. The loneliness that stalks me in Sydney has no power here. Maybe only a certain 'type' feels it but if one can hook into the energy here it is incredibly special. To be blessed with a room over-looking 23rd and placed with such cool neighbours is almost to complicated to process.

It's true that this city never sleeps.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

If I was wise

If I were a wiser man I wouldn't be making blog entries while one or two vodkas past the line. I'm beginning to suspect that the bar staff in Manhattan pour with a heavy hand. Alcohol has never really been my intoxicant of choice, I get stroppy and feel leaden.

Blame Joe Allen- he has extra yummy vodka. [Sidebar link]

Sweet Charity was a qualified success, I might yet need to give it some thought. It was fun but it never quite ignited. Christina Applegate was delightful but it was far from a powerhouse performance. I will try to work out exactly what was missing when neural services are restored.

I had a very laid back morning here waiting for the Tony nominations to land in my email, ran an eye over the list and headed out for adventures. A couple of hours passed in the Hotel Chelsea lobby with breakfast and the papers provides for more fascinating New York watching than should be legal.


Startinf to feel very local, I put washing in on this block, had a shave and a haircut and then I just went on one of my walks.

I set the Empire State as my target and found it despite my relatively random route uptown. There are so many different experiences to encounter that I'm quite happy to drift where the breeze blows me. Lunch was something that involved barbecued lamb in pita bread from a street vendor. No real idea what- a relative of what we recognise as a 'yeeros' in Australia. I'm learning just to point and wave money- the outcomes are generally OK.


I was extemely surprised to find myself bartering over the price of belts in Spanglish. I didn't know I knew how to do that!

The Empire State itself wasn't especially exciting. All of the ground level approach was under renovation and torn up. The building itself wasn't as ornate as I had imagined. The Chrysler Building still stands as the more attractive building in my eye.


The presence of sercurity scanners etc made it all seem just a bit too ominous. I definitely didn't like the way that the elevators shook or the noise they made. Once I got up there I remembered that I really don't like skyscrapers and headed back to the ground after cautiously taking a few glimpses over the edge.

My wanders took me past the Museum of Sex, an interesting experience. I desperately wanted to re-curate the exhibition of early pornographic postcards along Foucaultian lines of analysis. Too many years studying in the humanities takes the fun out of most things, I 'saw' the perfect visual summary of Foucault's seminal We Other Victorians. The urge to clothe piano legs was strong.

Much more interesting was the collection of American 'stag-films' from the era before the mass production of pornography. The films offered a certain titillation in their innocence. The crude filming techniques and covert nature of the films made them feel truly 'naughty'. Genuine eroticism was totally absent.

New York is a city of contradictions, maddening eccentricities and an irrepressible self-confidence. I find it gratifying that I can survive and thrive but I am left wondering if a life lived at the butthole of the world amounts to a life wasted? My life might have been more outside the confines of Australia. Maybe I coulda been a contender?


p.s. beware of 'Ethel Mermans Disco Album'. It is every bit as uncalled for as it sounds!

And the Nominees Are



Tonys Announcement is received. Not that I've been sitting in the Chelsea lobby waiting for the email or anything...

Sometime later I'll start playing guess the winner, I at least want to wait until I've seen Sweet Charity this evening.

So far I'll be barracking for Kathleen Turner & Mireille Enos for a twin-set for Virginia Woolf. Probably Ms Applegate just for the backstage drama of Charity and how perfectly a Tony would cap it all off. She'd better deliver tonight... Damn good night to be seeing her- she'll be in a nice mood post-nomination, nobody could have expected it.

2004-2005 Tony Awards Nominations
Best Play
Democracy
Doubt
Gem of the Ocean
The Pillowman

Best Musical
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Light in the Piazza
Monty Python's Spamalot
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Revival of a Play
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Glengarry Glen Ross
On Golden Pond
Twelve Angry Men

Best Revival of a Musical
La Cage aux Folles
Pacific Overtures
Sweet Charity

Best Special Theatrical Event
Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance!
Laugh Whore
700 Sundays
Whoopi, the 20th Anniversary Show

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Philip Bosco, Twelve Angry Men
Billy Crudup, The Pillowman
Bill Irwin, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
James Earl Jones, On Golden Pond
Brían F. O'Byrne, Doubt

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Cherry Jones, Doubt
Laura Linney, Sight Unseen
Mary-Louise Parker, Reckless
Phylicia Rashad, Gem of the Ocean
Kathleen Turner, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Hank Azaria, Monty Python's Spamalot
Gary Beach, La Cage aux Folles
Norbert Leo Butz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Tim Curry, Monty Python's Spamalot
John Lithgow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Christina Applegate, Sweet Charity
Victoria Clark, The Light in the Piazza
Erin Dilly, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sutton Foster, Little Women
Sherie Rene Scott, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Alan Alda, Glengarry Glen Ross
Gordon Clapp, Glengarry Glen Ross
David Harbour, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Liev Schreiber, Glengarry Glen Ross
Michael Stuhlbarg, The Pillowman

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Mireille Enos, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Heather Goldenhersh, Doubt
Dana Ivey, The Rivals
Adriane Lenox, Doubt
Amy Ryan, A Streetcar Named Desire

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Dan Fogler, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Marc Kudisch, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Michael McGrath, Monty Python's Spamalot
Matthew Morrison, The Light in the Piazza
Christopher Sieber, Monty Python's Spamalot

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Joanna Gleason, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Jan Maxwell, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Kelli O'Hara, The Light in the Piazza
Sara Ramirez, Monty Python's Spamalot

Best Direction of a Play
John Crowley, The Pillowman
Scott Ellis, Twelve Angry Men
Doug Hughes, Doubt
Joe Mantello, Glengarry Glen Ross

Best Direction of a Musical
James Lapine, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Mike Nichols, Monty Python's Spamalot
Jack O’Brien, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Bartlett Sher, The Light in the Piazza

Best Choreography
Wayne Cilento, Sweet Charity
Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Jerry Mitchell, La Cage aux Folles
Casey Nicholaw, Monty Python's Spamalot

Best Orchestrations
Larry Hochman, Monty Python's Spamalot
Ted Sperling, Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin, The Light in the Piazza
Jonathan Tunick, Pacific Overtures
Harold Wheeler, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

The Light in the Piazza
Music & Lyrics: Adam Guettel

Monty Python's Spamalot
Music: John Du Prez and Eric Idle; Lyrics: Eric Idle

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music & Lyrics: William Finn

Best Book of a Musical
Jeffrey Lane, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Craig Lucas, The Light in the Piazza
Eric Idle, Monty Python's Spamalot
Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Doubt
David Gallo, Gem of the Ocean
Santo Loquasto, Glengarry Glen Ross
Scott Pask, The Pillowman

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
Rumi Matsui, Pacific Overtures
Anthony Ward, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Michael Yeargan, The Light in the Piazza

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jess Goldstein, The Rivals
Jane Greenwood, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
William Ivey Long, A Streetcar Named Desire
Constanza Romero, Gem of the Ocean

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
Junko Koshino, Pacific Overtures
William Ivey Long, La Cage aux Folles
Catherine Zuber, The Light in the Piazza

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Pat Collins, Doubt
Donald Holder, Gem of the Ocean
Donald Holder, A Streetcar Named Desire
Brian MacDevitt, The Pillowman

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Christopher Akerlind, The Light in the Piazza
Mark Henderson, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Kenneth Posner, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Hugh Vanstone, Monty Python's Spamalot

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Theatre de la Jeune Lune
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Edward Albee

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hotel Chelsea is Heaven

So, here I am- finally starting to resemble something sane. I think that just maybe I'm starting to settle from absurdly over-excited to a more desirable super-charged that suits Manhattan.

I've had a perfect Hotel Chelsea weekend, all manner of decadence and depravity that I'm not silly enough to commit to public print! This whole trip I've been meeting interesting people and engaging in reckless behaviour. On Sunday I woke up with three strangers in my bed and a not entirely clear pcture of what happened on Saturday night / Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon I did some organising and local exploring. Today I have been pretending to be a fucked up rockstar and haven't left my room except to take two steps to the bathroom. I can call the deli for all the essentials I need, I feel safe and comfy. It's absolutely perfect. Why would I leave, I've an entire month to enjoy this wonderful comtemporary Babylon.

My love affair with Hotel Chelsea continues to blossom. I've been very lucky with the room I am in. This wing of Level8 seems particularly welcoming, the people are universally delightful. An original Vali Myers at the top of the stairs has become my great fascination. I need to know why it is signed twice with different dates and really get some more facts and figues about the time she spent here with Brett Whitely- a great Australian arist who spent many years here. The room comes with a mouse who pops out to visit me every so often, I may have to borrow one of the cats about if it gets much cheekier. At Hotel Chelsea the mouse seems entirley entitled to my deference. His great-grandparents were friends of Dee Dee.

Which leads to the single most exciting thing to be said about this room:::

THIS WAS ONCE DEE DEE'S ROOM!
Call me a tired old punkrockgroupie but that idea was adrenaline inducing when my next door neighbour told me. I think I might even have had a sixty second bad hair moment while I decided whether I should scream, cry, or just feint. Moments like that one are too important to be bothered trying to be cool! It's a great charm of this place that that kind of cool isn't requisite at all.
Somewhere on Saturday night I changed back into a neat jacket person and saw Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It was an absolutely gut-wrenching production, the most relentlessly paced and performed VWoolf I've ever see. Kathleen Turner as Martha was a revelation, she delivered the Act3 denouement with such precision that the entire house was hanging on her every gesture. Martha's meltdown has never been so heartbreaking.


Would you argue with Martha?
All four cast members deserve the highest of praise, most particularly the woman who plays Honey. She also found something to the role I've never spotted, Honey isn't naive, it's a defensive tactic. I got the feeling that she had a good take on what was happening much earlier into the 'games' than she lets on.
I achieved a major goal, Ms Turner's autograph on a Playbill. Ms Turner does not like to be photographed and she does not speak after performances. Except to me- oh yes, I got a good throaty laugh out of Ms Turner while she signed for about six people and zoozed into her limo and on into the night. I did go as far as telling her how we used take Wednesdays off school to go see Crimes of Passion at a little Sydney art cinema. Ms Turner looked at me and said 'you were in high school and saw that film?'. I won her over.


George and Martha whoop it up. "Let's play get the guest!."

Turner, one of few actors who I most genuinely adore, was fabulous- playing 'diva' so perfectly. She has her people make sure she has her own pen for signing in case she catches a 'bug' and the car purring and ready to go. I loved it- total BS but in a good way, she acted the role of Broadway star as if Tallulah was still swilling back her Martinis at Sardis. Her performance is Tony worthy and she's charming the town- I think she's a real Tonys contender.
Word has just landed that my tickets to the Tonys can be arranged without my having to suffer the indignity of queueing with ordinary people. :-b Having contacts in Manhattan really does help. Love ya, Blanche.
Tomorrow I am really going to get up and out and see some of NY. Sweet Charity is tomorrow night, I'm unreasoanably excited and equally terrified that I'm going to see a treasured work trashed. I won't believe that Charity can be done without Fosse until I see it happen.
And that makes it time to call the deli for more fab sandwhiches and the bizzare beverage that Americans call 'tea with milk and sugar'.
One of the sharper people on this floor has linked this blog from a website full of the most fascinating Chelsea history. Take your browser to http://www.legends.typepad.com/ for more fascinating tidbits about the Hotel than I have ever found. I certainly know what my bedtime reading will be tonight.
Catching up SanFran is happening, I drafted a few days coverage last night. I think that I just need to keep reciting the key message- Lennon is A+ brilliant and deserves a break on Broadway.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Miss Bedsore Regrets

Treasured visitors,

I have been very, very bad. The blog isn't even vaguely up-to-date. Either am I. Too many timezone changes now. Living fast and hard in SF has caught up with me, as have two long flights.

I'm in and way too settled at Hotel Chelsea. Rm821 this time. I had to make a difficult choice. This room is bigger and opens onto 23rd- I can literally lean out my window and watch it all. The down is a shared bathroom which I think that I can deal with. Good luck that I didn't pay for a web connect room- I'm logged in via a free community WiFi server here. Not a great signal but that will always be the way in NYC because of geography.

When I get home my cause de passion seems likely to be the extension of free access wi-fi points in Sydney. SF has several public funded 'hotspots' that cover entire neighbourhoods with more to come. As I write this I'm using a hotspot somewhere nearby that the computer selected. I gather from the computer's selection that it must be stronger than Chelsea's signal which only reaches this room in a very weak form. Officially it only covers the lobby.

It's now the very first few minutes of Saturday in NY. I resisted going to midnight Rocky Horror next-door. I need to sleep again and see if I can achieve some sense of what time it is when the sun returns. Tomorrow night is Tony's contender #1- Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Kathleen Turner is a near certain for nomination but she'll lose to the Nun in Doubt. One of the things to backlash about amongst the luvvies right now is Hollywood stars 'slumming it' on Broadway. Denzel Washington in Julius Caesar was rightly considered a major shark-jump.

I will catch up. Adventures in SF to recount, still nothing about Lennon which was so brilliant I want to put up a billboard saying so right now. If the critics can't kill this one when it gets to NY it will be a sleeper hit.

And on the subject of sleeping...

fades very rapidly.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Working Class Hero

One of the songs used in Lennon. I'll leave why it is pasted here for you to decide.


Working Class Hero
by John Lennon

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and class less and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Erratum:

There are several corrections and alterations I need to make to this travelblog, they aren't going to happen for a few days- that's easily predicted.

So, just to remove the dumbest mistake- My date for arrival in NY is May5, tomorrow. I can't imagine why I typed May3 in the itinerary entry.

Yes I can- I'm retarded! :-)


Lennon Playbill with cast autographs and 'Yokos' flowers.

Full review to follow. It would be fair to say that I enjoyed the show. A lot.

It would also be fair to say that the flight and a few days tearing through SF at a crazy pace has left me exhauusted.

We am the Queen

Utterly irrelevant but funny:

LONDON -- The Queen recently met Eric Clapton at a reception at Buckingham Palace and, having failed to identify either Brian May or Jimmy Page at the same party, turned to him and said, "Have you been playing a long time?"

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Howard & 6th


Howard & 6th.
I came past this derelict building on the cab trip in and knew that I had to be in SF. These pictures were taken yesterday when I was out exploring Mission.



Detail of the wacky building. These are all relatively quickly taken pictures. As much as I enjoyed exploring Mission, it's not the brightest place to send out "Hi, I'm a tourist carrying a very expensive camera" messages.

Meet Delores


This is Delores Delago, my companion goldfish. It's a hotel gimmick thing. As ever, sidebar links if you're interest is aroused. Select Hotel Monaco, SF.

I'm loving SF, having some fun adventures. Still haven't done anything classically tourist, doing things my way.

Today I explored down through Mission and over to Folsom. Stopped at a Taste of Leather [sidebar link] and bought myself some seriously hot chaps and a few bits and pieces. I have to stop saying this but the prices here are so much more VisaCard friendly.

That done, I stumbled across the Hole in the Wall Saloon. [Sidebar Link]. Another place that has mythical attraction for me, rock and roll queer bar--- heaven. Lunchtime Monday so was very quiet but the bearish type guys gathered were so pleasant, chatty, welcoming. I eventually got chatting with a guy who was most certainly not a bear type.

Indeed, all I'm going to say is that he snores. We do have a family oriented readership...

Monday, May 02, 2005

San Fran- May 01

I think that I could come to like San Francisco. I still haven't been far but what I have seen is beautiful and the people wonderful. There's a mix of elegance and relaxedness that appeals to me.

Today's ultra highlight was Bebe Neuwirth. A remarkable little show that wasn't really a musical, or cabaret. There wa no literal narrative, that was left for the audience to decide. The Fosse legacy was hugely apparent. I went into meltdown when Bebe reached for the 'Fosse chair'.

Ms Neuwirth was enchanting. She isn't someone who I've been majorly interested by, probably because she tends to do roles that were once Chita's. The new-Chita thing means Bebe has no hope in my collection, there wil be a Chita recording that is always my default choice. I'll have to get Broadway revival OCR of Chicago now. Everybody needs five recordings of Chicago.

The Reinking choreography was agonisingly beautiful. Bebe can seriously dance. I saw Anne Reinking @ the control panel before curtain. Nearly feinted!

That's two unexpected divas from tribe Fosse. I'm being well guided by some kind of benevolent force

Daytime went to exploring this general part of the city and buying clothes that are so much more affordable than in .au

Macys menswear store was mind-blowing. Very little I'd wear, even less that I would pay for but the treats I got made me happy. Mostly a day enjoying this part of the city, I don't feel specially compelled to do the 'obligatory' tourist things but maybe tomorrow...

I'm tired---- more as it happens.

Oh oh...

I just watched a guest safety thing on the hotel TV. It advised that I hide under a table or similar in an earthquake.

All the tables in this room have a 'middle shelf'. If there's a quake I'm done for... :-)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Weary on Geary

Well, I've sort of lost my first day in SF. Arrived so exhausted I slept until 19:00. Every single clock was showing a different time when I awoke, some as AM some as PM.

Flight = hideous. Long hauls should be banned! That said, United way outdid Qantas on efficiency and courtesy. Coming in through SFO rather thn LAX proved a good decision. I cleared customs, collected baggage and was at Hotel in 40mins. Someone might mention that to Qantas- I waited over an hour for bags last time I flew in on an international flight.

Hotel Monaco, OTOH, is delightful. An olde worlde style 'grand hotel' translated to modern ways of being. Will probably do some pics later. [Link to Hotel Monaco in sidebar]. The 'honor bar' is extraordinary, full of snacks and nifty little things.

Love what little I've seen of SF, pretty and friendly so far. I insisted on staying on Geary St and parallels when I went out exploring, fuck those hills tonight! Haven't seen a cable-car yet so I can't have gotten far!

Tomorrow for all that...

Rhythm of Life- Sweet Charity

Daddy started out in San Francisco,
Tootin' on his trumpet loud and mean,
Suddenly a voice said, "Go forth Daddy,
Spread the picture on a wider screen."
And the voice said, "Brother, there's a million pigeons
Ready to be hooked on new religions.
Hit the road, Daddy, leave your common-law wife.
Spread the religion of The Rhythm Of Life."
And The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat,
Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,
Rhythm in your bedroom,
Rhythm in the street,
Yes, The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat,
To feel The Rhythm Of Life,
To feel the powerful beat,
To feel the tingle in your fingers,
To feel the tingle in your feet,
Daddy, spread the gospel in Milwaukee,
Took his walkie talkie to Rocky Ridge,
Blew his way to Canton, then to Scranton,
Till he landed under the Manhattan Bridge.
Daddy was the new sensation, got himself a congregation,
Built up quite an operation down below.
With the pie-eyed piper blowing, while the muscatel was flowing,
All the cats were go, go, go-ing down below.
Daddy was the new%2

Happy Bebe to Me!

Need to wait until morning to confirm I can have a ticket, can't order them on the web or they'd end up posted to Aus! But, the website is showing tickets for Bebe Neuwirth's first SF show tomorrow night available. The desk staff can book me in tomorrow.

With any luck, I get to see Bebe for my birthday. How cool is that?

WHO IS BEBE NEUWIRTH, YOU ASK?

Bebe Neuwirth is an artist who responds to simplicity. Whether it's a Zen brush painting of a horse or Eric Clapton singing "Over the Rainbow" with solo guitar, she admires "the ability to convey the truth completely and fearlessly and without artifice." It is this ability that has drawn this multitalented performer to the singular music of Kurt Weill, which brings her to San Francisco for an extended run of "Here Lies Jenny." Crafted around songs by the brilliant German composer, the work opens Tuesday. The surprise off-Broadway hit ran at a funky downtown Manhattan space called the Zipper Theater for five months last year.

As a dancer, actress and singer, Neuwirth seeks the unadorned truth. Whether garnering Tony Awards as Velma in "Chicago" (1997) and Nickie in "Sweet Charity" (1986), or Emmy Awards while freezing barstools as Lilith on "Cheers," she is a formidable combination of grace, ferocity, intelligence and beauty. In New York City last week, Neuwirth paused for an interview following a run-through of "Here Lies Jenny," the 90-minute show that she describes as "bigger than the sum of its parts." She calls the production the happy result of a collaboration among friends. After enlisting music director Leslie Stifelman to help her explore the music of Weill, Neuwirth turned to two dear old friends to develop a stage work: director-actor Roger Rees and choreographer-dancer Ann Reinking, artists who share not only a common artistic sensibility but an indelible connection to choreographer Bob Fosse.

"Here Lies Jenny" features some of Weill's Weimar-era collaborations with Bertold Brecht, as well as later work with lyricists including Ira Gershwin, Langston Hughes, Alan Jay Lerner and Odgen Nash. Neuwirth said the show offers the broad range of Weill's songwriting talents. "Many people may think of his music as very arch and angular and Germanic, (but) there is great lyricism and tenderness," she said in her dusky alto. In creating a world in which much is left to the imagination, however, Rees set aside the original contexts for the 21 songs; Neuwirth said the unusual show does not follow any rules or theatrical conceit that she has seen before.

It is clear that Jenny, the saloon singer played by Neuwirth, has weathered some grueling times, but her story is etched in shadow. "Who knows who this woman is?" she asked. "I have my ideas, but the audience will fill in (theirs). It's like an Impressionist painting. It could be any run-down saloon in any harbor town by the docks, anywhere in the world, anytime in the last century.

Neuwirth, a self-described "Japanophile" describes "Here Lies Jenny" by referring to the Japanese aesthetic concept known as wabe sabe; she even gave her creative team books about the philosophy. "It refers to the beauty of decay, the beauty of things that are crumbling," she explained. "The show honors that -- all the things that make up human experience."

This thoughtful performer admits that although her own ideas about her character are very specific, she keeps them to herself. "The truer and more specific we are, the freer the audience can be, ironically," said Neuwirth. She delights in hearing audience comments about the characters of Jenny and the four men who come into her life that night. "What did you think happened? Or, oh, you thought there was a child?"

She describes "Here Lies Jenny" as a show without artifice; to Neuwirth, what happens in that bar is "a very private thing. We want people to come and witness it and become part of it." She discussed the subtle yet strong difference between putting on a show and having an experience, once joking to Rees, "If you want me to do any selling, you've got the wrong girl!" For his part, Rees has called Neuwirth "a chameleon" and said that neither she nor Weill could be described in simple terms.

After months of performances, Neuwirth confesses that she is still learning about Jenny's past; sometimes, in the midst of a show or rehearsal, images or flashes give her glimpses into her character's backstory. "The show reveals itself to me sometimes; it's kind of spooky. I really dig that."

This 46-year-old performer describes Jenny as a very physical and emotional role and "the most personal of anything I've done."

She volunteered that in general, she may not be the easiest person to get to know, but Rees and Reinking knew what she could and needed to express. Working with such trusted friends and having such great material helped her dive deeply into the role.

"It's very hard for a performer to trust the material and trust that we don't have to do anything but speak the truth," Neuwirth said. "If you're talking about heartbreak, (Weill's music) goes to the absolute nth degree of what that really means. The way he shows that is with fearless lyrics and the bravery to make the music as beautiful as it can be."

Since creating the role of Jenny, Neuwirth has embarked on concert performances of Weill's music. She was surprised at the visceral thrill she experienced at being backed by a full orchestra. Though the concert stage, film and television may beckon, she said she is first and foremost a dancer. "I've been on stage since I was 7. That's where I'd rather be than anywhere else. Just because you can do a bunch of things doesn't mean you are a bunch of things. I can act. I can sing. But I am a dancer."

The vast television audience that sees Neuwirth arguing cases as the assistant prosecutor in Dick Wolf's new "Law & Order" spin-off, "Trial by Jury, " may plead otherwise. While pleased about the new pilot series, she does admit that doing television can feel a bit "sodden" or "leaden" because she has to keep her steps in check. So it's no surprise that Neuwirth embraces the opportunity to reprise the title role of "Here Lies Jenny," a work that enables her to show the full expression of her considerable talents, and to pursue the simplicity and unadorned truth that she treasures so much.