I'm writing this on the longest day of the year. I've decided that this is the summer I will sit out ON MY LAWN, with a book, and a glass of (fill in the blank with available beverage here), as often as possible. You see, I spent 35 years in NYC, and that was one of the things that bugged me about that town; you couldn't actually sit out on a summer evening. No lawn, no patio (rent stabilized flats rarely come with 'em), the park...yes, but it's not exactly the same when you have to walk a mile, or take a subway to a park. You want to be able to walk out the door, barefooted, travel 6 steps and be in grass. Clean grass, that maybe you yourself mowed. And just sit in a lawn chair and breathe the night air. In the quiet. Okay, maybe an errant dog barking. But like, in the distance.
But now that I've been here 5 years, I find myself ignoring those country summer evening possibilities. Too busy to go out and watch the stars come out. What's that all about? Come on. The things that this new country life has brought me are too many to count: Fresh air, quiet, friends, a radio show (!!!), the chance to change my life. Sitting outside is a way of remembering all that, and I'd better take advantage now. Before the metaphorical mosquitoes (and other life speed bumps) chomp.
And ironically, I've learned more about Broadway 450 miles AWAY from it than I did when I lived half a mile from it. From this "distance", I find perspective and some curiously fascinating circles. Case in point: This week I learned that Andy Blankenbuehler, who just won the Tony for Best Choreography (Hamilton) started out at the age of 27 in Fosse, a revue of THAT choreographer's work...now, 20 years later, he's probably the hottest choreographer on Broadway. But he started as a Fosse "silhouette", slight of figure, goatee-d, slithering with a Carol Haney-esque partner, to "From This Moment On." Yes, that information was always there, waiting for me to find it, and appreciate it. Which you can only do when your mind is 6 barefooted steps from "grass."
I'm rambling. I'm nostalgic. It's summer and I'm on the lawn. Watching (and listening to) "stars."
P.S. Because of live coverage of the Jazz Fest, the playlist had to be curtailed, so the list below NOW shows the songs I actually got to play. I'll be adding those left out to next week's show. Thanks for your patience. :)
Leaning On A Lamp Post (Robert Lindsay, Me And My Girl)
You've Got Possibilities (Linda Lavin, It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman)
It's Superman (Patricia Marand, Bob Holiday, Ensemble, It's A Bird...)
The Woman For the Man (Jack Cassidy, It's A Bird...)
You Should See Yourself (Gwen Verdon, Sweet Charity)
It Shoulda Been You (Chip Zien, Tyne Daly, Ensemble, It Shoulda Been You)
We Should Be Together (Shirley Temple, George Murphy, Little Miss
She Acts Like A Woman Should (Marilyn Monroe)
Loads Of Love (Diahann Caroll, No Strings)
No Strings (I'm Fancy Free!)(Fred Astaire, Top Hat)
I've Got No Strings (Dickie Jones, Pinocchio)
Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart (Judy Garland, Listen, Darling!)
Take It On The Chin (Emma Thompson, Me And My Girl)
You Would If You Could (Susannah Fellows, Robert Lindsay, Me And My Girl)
The Family Solicitor (Roy Macready, Frank Thornton, Ensemble, Me And My
Murder, He Says (Betty Hutton, Happy Go Lucky)
It's Only A Paper Moon (Cliff Edwards)
When I Take My Sugar To Tea (The Boswell Sisters)
Guilty (Al Bowly and His Orchestra)
Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry (Betty Hutton)
Big Spender (Ann Reinking, Ensemble, Fosse)
Rich Man's Frug (Instrumental, Sweet Charity)
Coffee, Black (Daniel H. Jenkins, John Cypher, Barbara Walsh, Ensemble, Big)
One Special Man (Crista Moore, Big)
Baby, Baby, Baby (Liz Calloway, Todd Graff, Ensemble, Baby)
I Want It All (Liz Calloway, Beth Fowler, Catherine Cox, Baby)
Bottom's Gonna Be On Top (Brian D'Arcy James, Christian Borle, John
Cariani, Ensemble, Something Rotten!)