Tonight is big! Patti Stanger comes to NYC to "help" the single women of NYC. As soon as they get a dose of her strong medicine, the ladies might want to send her packing, but it all makes for must-see matchmaking on the Season 4 premiere of The Millionaire Matchmaker tonight. Patti and Hoda are on Watch What Happens Live this Thursday at 11, btw.)
Last night at the Walter Kerr was one of the best nights of theater I've ever had. It was a staged reading (directed by Joel Grey) of Larry Kramer's unbelievable early '80s AIDS lament The Normal Heart starring Broadway superdirector Joe Mantello (in his return to acting), John Benjamin Hickey, Victor Garber, Glenn Close, Patrick Wilson, and Jack McBrayer.
The play is as prescient today as it was then, and for many more reasons. It's about when to fight and when to shut up, about love, and about living and dying, and about equality. And it's about so much more. The performances were just stunning, and I was especially moved by Mantello and Hickey. Joe Mantello was born to play his part, though I wonder if he'll ever really come back onstage for good. (We can hope.)
The night was to raise money for Friends in Deed, NYC's Crisis Center for people with life threatening illness and their family. It was founded by Mike Nichols and Cy O'Neill as a response to the AIDS epidemic; it became a vital place for anyone touched by the disease. Last night's play was especially profoundly connected to FID. With St. Vincents Hospital closing recently, the city and its people need FID more than ever, and the organization needs support more than ever in these lean times. (Full disclosure: I'm on the board.)
Have a good day everybody.