Wednesday - October 19, 2005
AUTUMN IN New York ... The Big Apple, or deli-heaven - where the whitefish smokes ... The pastrami is okie-doke ... The corned beef is delish ... And, so is a knish ... The Stage Deli fills your belly… An egg cream is a dream ... Barney Greengrass (deli) is a gas ... Lox and a bagel plus a shmere is dear ... On arrival at the airport, my wife was totally blown away when we were greeted by John Walker and his limo. A little special surprise from Al Masini, the retired TV exec now a Honolulu citizen. John was Al’s driver in Manhattan for years. He showed us a number of landmarks - Chinatown, Little Italy, Wall St., Greenwich Village, along the East River and to ground zero of 9/11 ...
Lites, camera, action: Invited by Cindy Balfour (script supervisor on Law & Order) to watch filming at their Chelsea Piers HQs on the New York waterfront. Cindy’s dad, Dr. John Balfour, is a surgeon at Straub (operated on me a couple times). It was a simple office scene with Law star Sam Waterson. He seemed uptight for some reason. Kept flubbing his lines.To get the scene right, a half-dozen takes were required ... Sid Bernstein, who presented some of the greatest rockers of his era, also managed dozens of major stars. Semi-retired now, this Hawaii afficianado will always be known as the man who first presented the Beatles to America (at Shea Stadium). We spent a few pleasant hours one sunny afternoon in Central Park while he reminisced about his exciting career. He showed us the Strawberry Fields area in the park (dedicated to John Lennon), right across the street from the Dakota apartment complex where Lennon lived and was fately gunned down. Stopping at a small park lake to rest, I was given a seat on a crowded bench by a young lady sitting with three girlfriends munching hot dogs. We all got into a brief conversation. “Do you know who this man is?” I asked pointing to Sid. “He brought the Beatles to America.” They all became very animated, plying Sid with Beatles questions. Then Sid asked the wahines where they were from. “Hawaii,” they exclaimed. Pointing to me, he smiled, “Do you know who this man is?” Recognized, it suddenly became a reunion of old friends. What an unexpected fun time in Central Park with Nancy Dela Cruz (works for Tel Com), Emelie Corpuz (nurse at Kuakini), Cynthia Guray (Kamehameha counselor) and Geraldine Galanto (Kuakini nurse). It was their first trip to N.Y., and loving it. Small world ...
Saw five major Broadway productions in one week: Spamalot, Wicked, Avenue Q, Lion King and The Producers. Average ticket price - $100. And lucky if you can get ‘em ... Peter Lawrence has come a long way since his days attending the UH (‘71-‘72) and being a local drama critic. Today Peter is a successful stage manager (Spamalot) and will be directing the next three Spam shows - in London, Las Vegas and U.S. tour. Sends regards to isle pals. Assisting him in the show is Hawaii-born Mahlon Krusie, UH alum ...When my son was about 10 years old, he often played and swam weekends with pal Kevin McCollum at the Kahala Hilton beach. Kevin’s mom Sue loved theater and participated in many local productions - as did Kevin. After she died, Kevin left Hawaii to live with Mainland family members. Today, Kevin is one of the biggest producers on Broadway. His Rent (Tony for Best Musical in 1996) debuted 10 years ago and is still running. Kevin’s current B’way smash, Avenue Q, (Tony for Best Musical in 2004) is also a major attraction at the new Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. And his production of La Boheme also won a Tony. Kevin philosophized, “I think I chose theater because this is where we come together as strangers and leave as a family. ... My mother was a big part of my accomplishments. She was ahead of her time. I am an extension of her”
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