The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Friday, December 7, 2012

From "The Stage" UK

More notes from New York, chance encounters & cabaret

The world is a small place – and nowhere more so than in the theatre world. Broadway, its commercial heartland, occupies a small part of a small island – roughly thirteen blocks from West 41st Street up to West 54th Street (though Lincoln Center Theatre, up at 65th Street, also has Broadway status).
That density of theatres is part of what gives Broadway its intensity: there’s an energy and drive, particularly at curtain up times, that you simply don’t get in the West End, where the theatres are far more spread out (and so are the curtain up times, which in New York are mostly a standard 8pm).
It also means that there’s a genuine community feeling around Broadway, as jobbing actors rub shoulders with theatregoers and tourists; just the other night, having dinner at the Polish Tea Room (as the Edison Hotel’s diner on West 47th Street is known to insiders), I found myself sitting beside two-times Tony winner Judy Kaye, on her way to appearing in Nice Work if You Can Get It on the next block.
And walking into another diner on 8th Avenue the night before, I ran into Alexandra Silber, the radiant-voiced actress, once resident in the UK after training at Glasgow’s RSAMD, who by chance I was seeing a few nights later in Inner Voices, a collection of three new short solo musicals at a tiny theatre on 30th Street, one of which she was performing. I was going to see it because of her, in fact – in September I’d travelled down to Philadelphia to see her in the US premiere of Howard Goodall’s Love Story, so there’s clearly nowhere I wouldn’t go to find her. But a diner on 8th Avenue wasn’t where I was expecting to see here first!
At another Broadway matinee, I ran into Tony Sheldon, who starred in both the West End and on Broadway in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; and at Broadway cabaret club 54 Below, I ran into two more Aussies, the Sydney-based independent theatre PR Ian Phipps, and another Australian musical actress Kaye Tuckerman, who is now resident in New York and recently completed a tour of Mamma Mia! in the US.
As performances only began last week, I didn’t catch another Aussie, Caroline O’Connor starring in the new Broadway seasonal musical A Christmas Story; I was looking forward to seeing her in Hello, Dolly! at Leicester’s Curve this Christmas, but she pulled out and was replaced by the divine Janie Dee (not a bad exchange). Now I know what she’s doing instead!

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