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:::

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 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.


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