“Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret!”
Bonjour, mes chéris!
I’m sure you’ve missed me while I’ve been gone. Well, I’ve missed you too and I’ve really been dying to tell you all something quite wonderful.
Over the years I have striven for class and elegance. This you know. Sometimes I have been successful and sometimes I have not, but my faults and failures are beside the point. Because, very recently, all my efforts culminated into the hugest palooza of class and elegance ever, when I was invited to the fanciest event of my youngish life.
It’s rather a complicated thing to explain, but basically, because I wrote that musical (that I wrote in that class at that theater), I am sometimes given tickets by the theater (where I took the class where I wrote the musical) to go to fabulous events.
I know, right? I mean, come on, what is my life? Free theater tickets?
I was given a ticket to attend a celebrationary (yup!) event celebrating the life of a composer named Henry Mancini who wrote many well-known songs, one of which is “Moon River” (and now I’m sobbing hysterically and wishing I was Audrey Hepburn).
When the night of the celebration arrived I had the ticket and I was wearing a La La Land inspired outfit. What could go wrong?
I jumped out of a small black car driven by my father, waved, and ran into the theater from which loud jazz music was echoing, the thrill of ages thrumming in my heart.
A Brief Recess
The Thrill of Ages is a phrase I made up. It alludes to the excitement you feel whenst* ever you are dashing off on an excursion. I mainly use it when I am too tired to think of a metaphor.
Let me continue.
I dashed spritingly into the theater, with my sparkly silver clutch grasped clutchingly in my hand, and waved glibly to my dear friends, The Staff, who were serving people hors-d’oeuvres from silver trays.
Now. Before I go any further with this Account, I would like to clear one thing up. I, Broadway Lil, almost never know what I’m doing in any given situation. You may find this hard to believe, but it’s quite true. Sometimes I get a slight flash of something, a smidge of a hint of what I possibly should be doing, but in most cases, I’m winging it. Ergo, I am quite adaptable. Ergo is a word I learned from a book and I use it to impress people with my vast stores of knowledge.
Because of my history of winging it at pivotal moments in my career, I have developed a network, a list of facts, and a guide.
I like to call it Broadway Lil’s Guide to Class, Elegance, and Revenge.
The revenge part is optional but recommended.
Broadway Lil’s Guide to Class, Elegance, and Revenge.
Chapter One – Making Your Entrance
Upon entering the party it is quite important that you appear to know someone.
I dashed spritingly into the theater, with my sparkly silver clutch grasped clutchingly in my hand, and waved glibly to my dear friends, The Staff.
When one is as still in the tender stages of becoming a household name, it is quite important that one befriend the theater’s staff or some form of them. Not only will you be able to greet at least someone at the party loudly and theatrically, the theater staff will give you stuff they have found and think you might want/need, such as Playbills and left-over scarves.
I know this for a fact.
Curly Haired Man (server/Superman/life-saver) smiled his slight, serious, Nordic smile when he saw me. He’s been with me through a lot of life stages, including My New York Accent Stage and The Premiere My Life-Affirming Piece of Stagecraft Known As My Musical Stage.
He’s a good one to have around, Curly Haired Man. I know I’m usually perfect, but you could consider not taking my advice in the Not Remembering People’s Names And Instead Referring To Them By Their Appearances thing. Just an idea.
After greeting Curly Haired Man, I hurried through the theater, and into the back courtyard in search of some more of my people.
Chapter Two – Socialization
When one is in a new situation one will typically cling very tightly to something familiar, in spite of the horrors and terrors the familiar item has inflicted upon one.
I found my former writing partner drippily eating a large bowl of gourmet macaroni and cheese by the champagne table. He waved when he saw me. I pushed a napkin into his hand, averted my eyes from his cheese-covered chin, and scanned the crowd for any sign of Curly Haired Man. There was none.
“We should go look for famous people,” said my writing partner, handing his dish off to a server and snagging a crustini off a passing tray.
I frowned at him.
“Definitely,” I said.
My writing partner and I have been through some Times and our mildly bad relationship is very much grounded on Real Events. In spite of this, we always disregard our slight distaste for the other and become rather chummy whenever there is the possibility of Looking For Famous People.
Chapter Three – Refreshments
Whenever possible, eat the gourmet hors d’oeuvres because goodness knows when you’ll come across caviar with hummus again.
I can’t eat at parties. I completely lose my appetite, especially if servers keep asking me if I want a crustini. It’s kind of horrible. My writing partner was fine, thank gosh. He plucked off a tray and then popped into his mouth, something with caviar and hummus.
“Goddamn, I knew it was Wolfgang Puck,” he said, chewing, “I got the same thing in Hawaii.”
Sometimes we don’t ask each other for further details.
Chapter Four – Branching Out
There will come a time during the night where you will have to part ways with your people and come across some new ones.
An Important Note: Looking for famous people is not exactly as enjoyable as one might think.
A Less Important But Still Relevant Note: My unenthusiasm expressed in the above statement is rather concerning. I am probably becoming a terrible cynic who lives in a cave. Or is that a hermit? In any case, this is most likely a disaster.
I won’t think about it.
I excused myself from looking for famous people, got a glass of water, and drank it slowly, praying that people would think it was vodka.
They did not.
My friends, the staff, were really not available for talking purposes, so I wandered around the courtyard alone, smiling at everyone in case they might want to produce my next musical, and trying not to trip on my three inch heels. After a fair amount of this, I was pulled over to a small seating area by my friend, Lillian whom I’d met earlier during the party.
To be clear, I’m not doing that thing where I refer to myself in the third person so it sounds like I have more friends than I actually do*: a real, actual, not-me friend named Lillian pulled me over to where she’d been sitting and talking with a woman with stunning silver hair and an all white and gold outfit. I sat down, with them, relieved to have someone to talk to. Lillian introduced me to her friend and we talked for a long time about new interactive theatre in New York City and was I going to go to NYU or not and oh, darling, nobody walks in LA!
It was quite enjoyable.
Chapter Five – True Love
Jazz musicians do not necessarily equate eternal happiness.
There was going to be a performance inside the theater and everyone was getting up to go in. I handed my fake vodka glass off to a server, waved glibly to Lillian and her friend, and dashed into the crowd. My good friend Morbid Russian Man (usher, cynic, talker, superhero) handed me my program at the entrance to the mezzanine. We had a long, morbid discussion back in the day about non-profit organizations and gerbils or something. He’s really quite nice. Also morbid.
My writing partner was already sitting in row CC, reading his program. I sat down next to him and we (somewhat passive agressively) discussed musical theatre until the lights dimmed and the performance began. It consisted of jazz, jazz, and more jazz, darlings. I love jazz, so I was in my element, especially because the entire jazz band was made up of people my age or slightly older. Whenever I come across people my age pursuing something interesting with gusto, my heart is happified because I am, with crazy theatrics, doing the same thing.
After the performance I dashed back out to the courtyard amid swirling seas of fabulous outfits. I should have mentioned the outfits: they were absolutely fantastic.
As I perused the coffee table that had been set up during the performance, I pondered my life decisions and came to the conclusion that I was fairly pleased with myself on the whole.
There was only one thing nagging at me and it was whether or not I should go congratulate the jazz musicians on their fabulous performance, not discluding the fact that I was intending to fall madly in love with a jazz musician at the soonest possible opportunity. This intention stemmed out of one thing: me watching La La Land.
I pondered my options for a while and ate some desserts. My appetite somehow always comes around when there is sugar on hand. After a bit of walking around and smiling at everyone is case they might want to produce my next musical, I was waved back over by Lillian. She wanted to take a selfie with me. Of course, this happens quite frequently. Not.
I raced over and took the worst selfie of my carrier because I do not know how to take selfies. I was having an absolutely fabulous time, when I realized that it was very late and I had to go. Everyone at the party was, by this point, rather intoxicated, and this made them very pleasant and kind so they hugged me and bade me good luck with my future pursuits. The thing about being extraordinarily underage is that there is always a point in the party, when everyone realizes how madly they love you. It is around the fifth round of champagne. It is quite an enjoyable thing to be privy to.
I may have waved a little to the jazz musicians as I turned to leave, but I’d realized that there are millions of jazz musicians. There are very few opportunities to eat small chocolate desserts and take selfies with your name twin.
Chapter Six – Making an Exit
When exiting a party it is best to leave a chaotic swirl of love, envy, happiness, and utter pandemonium in your wake.
It was time to leave the biggest night of class and elegance I’d ever been a part of. I was sad but I knew it had, ultimately been a huge success. I turned, my long, billowing sea foam blue tinted coat billowing around me, and knocked a glass of red wine onto the flagstones of the courtyard. It shattered, purple liquid splashing flourishingly onto me and my fellow class-attacks. There was a gasp. I stopped.
“It’s fantastic luck, fantastic luck!” called Lillian as the servers surrounded me from all sides and pulled me away from the broken glass. “Thank you, Lillian” I called back to her, and with one final I wave, I spun around and made my exit.
It was all very dramatic.
Chapter Seven – Memories
The world must know you were there and so must you.
Before I was completely out of the courtyard I made very sure to snag an extra small chocolate dessert and slip it under my coat sleeve.
And so, after everything, my biggest test of class and elegance was all over, and I wondered if I’d succeeded. I hoped I had. But then I found, as I thought back over it all, that whether I had actually finally achieved true class or not, had become irrelevant in the real course of things, because if I was going to make it in the real world of class and elegance, I was gosh-frak going to have to wing it, because it’s after all, rather impossible to know exactly what will come your way.
So it kind of helps to have a guide book.
Friends, I love you, thank you for reading this Account. Do you think it’s better to know what you’re doing or do you think it’s better to wing it?
Let me know your thoughts on class, elegance, and revenge in the comments, please, please!!
*Whenst is now an official word
*(Not that I ever do that, haha)