Ramblings From The Road
Yikes, it was so hot I thought I would melt. So I walked around for two days naked and the heat didn't bother me. There was lots of skinny dipping in the pool. What fun is that? I don't mind the heat and humidity. George Hearn said to me, "I don't like the heat. I can't do anything." I answered, "Exactly the point." My idea of a day in heaven is heat, humidity, a lot of naps, skinny dipping, the preferred summer drink and maybe a Drive In movie. Ah, where have all the Drive Ins gone? Nothing reeks Americana like a good ol' Drive In movie with those insane commercials for hot dogs and popcorn. I love summer.
I just got back from San Francisco. What a beautiful city that is. I just don't understand how people can live comfortably on a fault. But I suppose if you're gonna go down the fault, might as well be in San Francisco. A couple of food tips: Miyabi, 253 Church Street, 415-861-0447. Sushi like butter! Oriental Pearl Restaurant, (Chinese) 760/778 Clay Street, 415-433-1817. I had never had food in Chinatown before. Yum, yum, yum. The Slanted Door (Vietnamese) 584 Valencia at 17th Street, 415-861-8032. What can I say? Lots of good eats in San Francisco.
Me, George Hearn and Timothy Nolan backstage.
I was there to perform "Sweeney Todd" with the San Francisco Symphony. Lately my experiences in theatre have been different from the experiences at the beginning of my career. The latter part is joyful, thank God. Still fraught with the same anxiety of performance but the casts are loving, supportive and above all, supremely talented. I don't know what took me so long to work with George Hearn. Besides being a towering presence on stage he is one of the sweetest, gentlest and most intelligent men I know. Timothy Nolan was our Judge Turpin, the sleaziest most brilliant performance. The three of us would rehearse and then go to the bar in our hotel for a few drinks. I had so much fun listening to both of these men. The rest of the cast were exemplary and I cannot wait to do this again with them. Should you ever go to San Francisco hit the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel. It's the only one left of its kind. I say no more. I had great fun with Steve Sondheim who on closing night introduced me to the man who nailed my coffin shut in "Sunset Boulevard". The one, the only Frank Rich. I did not pull a Sylvia Miles, (she dumped a plate of spaghetti on John Simon's head). Instead I bought him and his lovely wife Alex Blue Hawaiians. Funny, what time and two Blue Hawaiians can do. He's quite charming and his wife is very pretty. I can't say I felt all together comfortable, but I was proud of myself for remaining relaxed.
I visited with an old girlfriend of mine, Renee Richards. Not the other Renee Richards, my Renee Richards. The poor girl was traumatized when he/she chose that name. She's married to a great guy and they have a beautiful kid. My God, we all grow up don't we? I was traveling home from San Francisco with a friend and we were talking about our hospital visits. I stopped him and said, "Ten years ago we would be talking about our drug experiences, not our hospital visits." Time marches on.
Two weeks later... I'm back from Los Angeles. It's still hot. I'm still walking around without any clothes on. I have a restaurant recommendation: Yamashiro, 1999 North Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, CA 323-466-5125. This restaurant is right above the Magic Castle with a spectacular view of the city of Los Angeles. If LA lost either one of these landmarks, there would go it's character. I realized, driving around a bit of LA, that this city was built as the movie industry was burgeoning, and a lot of it's architecture looked like movie sets. I suppose anything went, so LA was as fantastical as the movies they were making. Sadly, a lot of the old architecture has been torn down and it looks like a generic city. Why is it we don't preserve our heritage? If you're wondering what the Magic Castle is, it is a large mansion where you can have dinner or just go for drinks, and in it's many rooms professional magicians are plying their craft. It's pretty incredible.
I was glad to get home to my family, and rest before Ravinia and another "Sweeney Todd". I'll be able to do one more Ramblings before I start rehearsals for "Noises Off". I should have a lot to talk about after we open. Till then keep well.