Notes on a Saturday Night
To the gum chewer on my right at Northwest New Works at On the Boards: In Chapter V of Etiquette by Emily Post (1922), we are told: "It is scarcely necessary to add that no gentleman walks along the street chewing gum." And it's entirely unnecessary to add that a gentleman who sits in a quiet theater smacking his gum should expect to be smacked back. You, however, were an ungentle woman. Who behaved like you had already been soundly smacked, perhaps at birth by an overzealous nurse.
To the leg jiggler on my left: Yes, that boring dance troupe had an unmistakable esprit de corpse. They turned us into airline passengers who had forgotten to bring reading material—we strained to enjoy ourselves and, after failing, we sighed, looked around, and closed our eyes, praying for sleep. But you and your right leg had to telegraph your displeasure with small seismic eruptions, making the slow minutes even more painful. With seatmates like you, who needs crappy performers?
To Alex Martin: Just hours before your performance at NWNW, I was straining to think of a single instance when a dancer talking on stage didn't wreck (let alone improved) the performance, and you gave me one. I could've watched you dance and chat for another hour; you were utterly unpretentious and relaxed, speaking as yourself instead of quoting some lugubrious nonsense. You told us about the brown dress you've been wearing since last July and gave us spotlights to shine on you and cued your music with "let's try that fast one." You were great.
To the audience member who had the courage, when Martin stopped dancing to ask if anybody was hungry, to answer "yes" and was subsequently served a full meal, on a tray, by a woman in a stewardess outfit: I envy you.
To the people who sat near me during An Evening with Dorothy Parker at the Rendezvous: I apologize for ordering the salad. Emily Post would have been appalled. I appalled myself.
To the producers of AEWDP: To quote Ms. Parker: "Sometimes it doesn't turn out so well."
To whoever wrote the program for AEWDP: Thank you for this sentence: "Friends and admirers were surprised to learn she had left her estate to Martin Luther King Jr." So was I.
To piano player Howard Bulson (the famous and historic piano man at Sorry Charlie's, etc.): You were, as always, a joy to watch and listen to. My idea of an evening with Dorothy Parker is a bottle of Scotch, a book of her collected works, and you.
To the readership (such as it is): Film editor Annie Wagner and I are hunting for a new intern. The old one has lost consciousness. Must be reliable, free on Tuesday afternoons, and view mindless data entry as a means to getting ahead.