02 Jul NEW YORK EXPERIENCE
TUESDAY – JUNE 28: Off to New York City where Charles and I stayed at a lovely boutique hotel, ON THE AVE on West 77th St. and Broadway, a great New York find. The evening at PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT. The show is glitz; not much to it other than spectacle, great sets, costumes, and a night of fun.
WEDNESDAY – JUNE 29: Lucy Calkin invited me to do a lecture at the grand campus of Columbia University. I spoke to about l,200 educators from around the world. What a great experience this was. My talk was titled WRITERS – REAL PEOPLE. Jason Wells at Abrams managed to have pre-pub copies of my latest picture book, FULL MOON AND STAR at the meeting. What fun it was to autograph the book for the first time. I am always surprised at the reaction to BEEN TO YESTERDAYS (Boyds Mills Press); the book touches people more than I could ever hope for. In print for close to l5 years, the paperback edition, now in its l0th (or more) printing continues to amaze me.
The night was spent seeing BILLY ELLIOT, among the best shows I have ever seen. The entire production is breathtaking. To witness the young lead, PETER MAZUROWSKI, a l3-year old, making his Broadway debut, was beyond belief. At the stage door we talked with his father who told us Peter, who studied dance at the New Hampshire School of Ballet, was booked in New York to do BILLY…; a star, indeed is born. Then we talked with Peter, a charming child who performs the role twice a week.
THURSDAY – JUNE 30: We had a lovely, leisurely lunch with my agent, Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown, Ltd. at the modern ISABELL’S on the upper West Side. Then, dinner wth Laura Garcia, our Goddaughter’s mother and dearest friend, at Charles’ favorite haunt, EL QUIXOTE, part of the famous Chelsea Hotel, “home” to Arthur Miller, Leonard Cohen, and so many other brilliant literary luminaries.
Later we went to see ANYTHING GOES with the amazing Sutton Foster, the new diva of American musicals. Cole Porter still reigns on Broadway. I asked the conductor how he felt conducting the lush Porter score each night. “I have the best job on Broadway,” he said, glowing. “To do this every night is a miracle.” The old saw gets modern treatment via dynamic sets, costumes, and an added treat – a performance by Joel Grey.
FRIDAY – JULY l: Back home. Rejuvenated. There truly is no place like New York City, yet Florida has become home.