New York, New York Day Four: The Quest For Caricatures

evIt started out a day like any other. Except it didn’t, not really. Something was hanging in the air around me as I woke up groggily, wishing I hadn’t watched so many episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt the night before. And then I remembered and jumped out of bed to recklessly throw turtlenecks and jackets and notebooks together as fast as I could, and I rushed to the train in the blazing rain. Where I posed, I guess. Okay, well.

I arrived at Sardi’s several minutes later.
Sardi’s is a restaurant and bar located next to the St. James Theater on 44th street. It is one of, if not the most, iconic restaurants in theatre. Some of you may know about the caricatures that hang on the walls. It’s a tradition: once you get your caricature hung on the wall in Sardi’s, you know you’ve made it.

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My dear friend Albert Fisher who I interviewed about Sardi’s a long time ago for this blog was able to introduce me to Sean Ricketts who is Vincent Sardi, the founder of Sardi’s, grandson. Sean Ricketts gave me a marvelous tour of Sardi’s, I really gallivanted around to my heart’s delight, and he was so kind and informative.
Then I ate some lunch amongst the caricatures while jazz played beautiously through the restaurant and the waiter with the New York accent glanced down either either in judgment or awe at my appetizer bread intake. (I find the real good part of eating in restaurants is mostly the bread part).
I really couldn’t believe I was actually sitting in Sardi’s, eating, hopefully, the exact dish Carol Channing ate during the run of “Hello Dolly”. In fact, I could feel the drama and dreams of the past floating in the air around me, because nothing at Sardi’s has really changed.
FullSizeRender (24)Soon the time came for me to say goodbye, so I left, stuffing mints into my pockets, waving to the waiters, and almost kissing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s caricature goodbye on the cheek. I refrained due to something called propriety and also something called We Need To Keep Up Appearances Here, Darling, but Sardi’s I know, will see the reappearance of Broadway Lil, preferably on the opening night of her Broadway musical*.



I left Sardi’s and may or may not have popped into the Forever 21 flagship store on Broadway.
And then, because I had just filled my stomach with such copious amounts of bread, I realized I need something copious for my head. (That rhymed by the way. Did you notice how that rhymed?)
So I decided to bop off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, more commonly referred to as the Met.
At the Met I freaked out a lot. There was mostly only one reason why.

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There were many other sights but after a bit of gallivanting and tiring myself the frak out, I left and went off to my workshop.
I want to explain my workshop, because I find it interesting. Every night for the past three days, about thirty people (including me) gather in a smallish room in the ASCAP building between 63rd and 64th street and witness the first 45-50 minutes of a brand new musical. This in itself is incredibly thrilling and inspiring, but then after the brief ten-minute break that comes after the performance, Stephen Schwartz and two other panelists critique what we’ve all just watched. The writer can use the notes of course, but I can also freaking use the notes, so my notebook is absolutely crammed now. By the way, in the musical that I wrote the main female character is a computer hacker, and somehow my director and collaborator never noticed the notebook that I brought with me each rehearsal. It says Women In Technology on the cover. Am I really a hacker? Am I really a criminal mastermind?!
Anyway, food for thought there.
The workshop has been amazing not only for the notes, but for the time I am able to spend with these great writers (including Stephen Schwartz who I still cannot believe I am having casual conversations with when I’m having casual conversations with him).
Tonight was the last night of my workshop, and I’m really going to miss it, but I met some other writers who I really like and who I might even work with someday, talked to Stephen Schwartz and other marvelous people, and ate a giant chocolate chip cookie after to ease my sadness.
I will miss it all, but I’m still here for a little longer in New York, and friends, tomorrow’s another day gallivanting. What more does anyone want, really, if we’re being perfectly honest which we sometimes are.
I love you all!
*That will probably just be about herself.

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