New York– 2012

Lauren Cohn, my little cousin, now starring on Broadway in “Mamma Mia.”

I want to Talk about the endless romance ofNew York City, the generosity of friends, the answered prayers of performing in a Broadway Theatre, and the hope that flows at Ground Zero….

A reoccurring dream; I was in New York City, really there (or so I dreamt), I was visiting my high school girl friend Beryl Towbin who came directly to Broadway from school … and was dancing for Jerome Robbins (true). Even in my dream, I was telling myself, this is not that dream, it’s really happening, then I’d awake. I still have the amazement now that I’m really here and still looking up Beryl.

David and I merged at JFK, he from home, and I from Mt. Airy/Mayberry. We checked into the Phillips Club, a blessing from an angel friend, and immediately headed to the Theatre. Our ticket angel, Barry Moss, a long time friend in my Billy Barnes circle of life, helped us book tickets for The Book of Mormon, Newsies, Once, and Nice Work if You Can Get It. An eclectic variety which we “liked” (?), loved, adored, and didn’t want to be over. Nice Work…. belonged to our ages and was elegantly/hysterically presented by delectable dancers, delightful staging, and delicious actors. Judy Kaye is why Broadway was invented. Her Tony-winning fling had her swinging from chandeliers (literally!) I’m too adoring of honest talent, but Judy Kaye is a Best. And along with Kellie O’Hara, Matthew Broderick, and Michael (Tony too) McGrath gave us a night in the Theatre that knocked our socks off.

Survivor Tree

The Survivor Tree at 9/11 Memorial.

Our first day in this town, we always go to Ground Zero. We need to pay our respects. This is the first time we’ve visited the 9/11 Memorial site. Even as the new towers are under construction, the park-like plaza is open to wander under the trees and touch the engraved names inscribed in bronze around two pools set in the footprints of the originalTwinTowers. Very calming, very dramatic. Thirty-foot waterfalls cascade into the pools, each then descending into a center void. When the entire site is complete, the surrounding plaza will include more than 400 white oaks, selected from nurseries within a 500-mile radius of the three attacks. And among these trees will be the lone survivor tree, a Callery pear tree. Workers found the damaged tree reduced to an eight-foot stump after 9/11. It was nursed back to health and grew to be 30 feet tall sprouting new branches and flowers in the spring. Resilience. Important to the story of 9/11.

And so, we continue.

New Yorkwhizzed by, buses and subways (we bought a pass) and could go wherever we desired. To the high life on the High Line, to trekking near the Holland Tunnel, to a broken brick space called The Tunnel that beautifully housed the Affordable Art Fair. We found some photos from a French photographer that will give us a chance to redo a hall, and the array of Art could turn anybody’s head. We visited Squares:Madison,Union,Washingtonduring the days, andTimes Squareat night. Each location, great for people watching and unexpected happenings. And now, an unexpected happening from David….

DAVID: “A word or two before I leave the Big Apple to my little Eve. I’m off to Italy (and you’ll hear all about it!) while JJ stays in our greaaaaat apartment. Happy, helpful people everywhere. Superb fall weather. A special reunion at Porter House restaurant overlooking Columbus Circle with our son Dean in town for a concert at Carnegie Hall with Ben Harper (Dean is his Tour Manager). We shopped (Jackie for shoes; me for art) and walked forever. I’ll miss this super city, not to mention my super wife. Now, off to Milan, Rome, Venice, and molto piu (much more). Arrivederci for now.”

ME AGAIN: Now that he’s gone … I’ve appointments to visit my friends and play. I’ll see my cousin Lauren Cohn who is now starring in Mamma Mia. Google her for a Dream Come True story. She never stopped believing in her dream of Broadway. When I first met David, I was working with Lauren in her L.A. production of Into the Woods, and all the kids in the cast were so supportive of this gaga old thing. Now I’m gaga over Lauren’s Broadway success.  And yes, I did meet up with my old friend Beryl, my dream come true….

We’ll Talk….

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