Wednesday 5:30 - 7:30 NYGASP did a little concert at the Patelson Music House to promote our June season at City Center. Patelson's is just up the street from City Center and across the street from the Carnegie Hall stage entrance. Eight of us were put at the front of the store, with the window behind us, and Andi and her electric keyboard crammed into the corner. Al stood or crouched beside her, gripping his microphone and waiting for any and every opportunity to hear himself amplified: "In this song you won't know what she's talking about, but you would if you could see her costume... They should be dancing in this part, but we don't have room." Blurting out this kind of thing DURING NUMBERS, while people are trying to perform. The kind of thing for which you take a microphone away from a kid at a wedding reception. Patelson's has been having "Wine and Cheeze" Wednesdays so there was a fairly large number of free-wine-and-cheese-types there, plus baffled, double-taking customers, who only wanted to look for the Chopin collection their teacher recommended, wandering in and out. Al announced we would take a little break. A brusque woman grabbed his mike and announced there was going to be a raffle, and everyone please put your business card in the hat. I had a few cards, so I put them in. In short, I won on the first draw! A cleaning and tooth-whitening session from a dentist! I looked at the "award certificate" and some of the wording made me wonder exactly what I really did win, and how much it might cost me, but there you go. I could barely contain my excitement, and yearned for a bathroom. They had several prizes to give so they drew again - STEPHEN QUINT! They should have stirred those cards up a bit. I declined to be greedy and renounced my claim. The next card they pulled out was somebody else's, and another tooth-whitening was bestowed. Fourth card drawn - ANOTHER OF MINE!!! I was sure I couldn't have put in more than three, so told them to get on with it. Well, I was wrong. From that hatful of cards they drew ALL FOUR of the ones I put in!
I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of you watched “Camelot” on Live from Lincoln Center last week, performed by the NY Philharmonic and a bunch of celebrities. My neighbor Gabriel Byrne played King Arthur. I only saw the final half hour but hereby testify that Neighbor Gabe gave the worst Rex Harrison talk-type rendition of a musical role I have ever heard from an actor. William Shatner, Lorne Greene, Katherine Hepburn, Lee Marvin all leave him in the dust as far as musicianship. Shatner can’t sing one single note, but he usually manages to at least keep his vigorous recitation somewhere in the vicinity of the music as it’s being played. Byrne (we are no longer on a first-name basis) was always either one entire phrase behind OR AHEAD – he couldn’t even tell. Plus he looked frightened out of his wits the entire time. And Alan Jay Lerner’s dialogue sucks horribly, especially for Arthur. Anyway, the neighborhood committee had a secret meeting and Gabriel Byrne is now off Garden Place. We don’t know where he’s moved and we don’t care. To a more congenial spot for happ’ly-ever-aftering, perhaps.