Saturday, February 4, 2012

City Center

I'm on West 55th Street getting licorice and bars of dark chocolate with nuts (a subsequent post) at Myzel's Chocolate after teaching a voice lesson in the neighborhood and see City Center all lit up.

Out comes the Iphone. Snap. Snap. I walk across the street, right up to the front door and under the new awning which has the name of the place in lights. A good thing. Previously, you couldn't tell who the glorious Moorish facade belonged too. 

I walk into the lobby and look up. Snap. Snap. Snap. God. It's even more beautiful since the renovation. I saw an Encores production of Of Thee I Sing here. Now that's a musical they should mount during an election year.

Easy to rewrite the book. Heck. The story is still relevant. And what an overture! A toe-tapping wonder. Victor Garber sang in that production. Who knew he could sing? And of course, it was an honor to be onstage myself in a production of Kurt Weill's Lady in the Dark with Christine Ebersole

Come to think of it, I'm standing in the same lobby where City Opera- where I sang for two decades - was in residence from 1944 - 1964 before moving to Lincoln Center. If the walls could talk. 

Lady in the Dark was a blast. I met Kitty Carlisle Hart during the run (her husband wrote the book). She came up onstage and chatted everyone up. And I was able to interview her later. Could a man of the theatre be more happy? 

And to think: they were going to tear down this place. I just love the travertine marble in the lobby with the amazing tile work. And the stenciled ceiling. Wow. All the history that's taken place here. 

Natalie Keyssar for the Wall Street Journal

Here's the renovated interior. The seating is more gracious now. Yes. People are bigger now than they were when the place was built in 1923.  Longer legs and all that. Did they grin the silly grin I am right now?

City Center is my Olana.


  1. Interesting...makes me think of the Islamic Art exhibit currently at the Met.

    1. Thank you Designer M for reminding me of this exhibit I must see it!

  2. dear mr shigo,
    you are adorable.
    i read your interview with kittie carlisle hart.
    walking into another era indeed. and it was wonderful.
    places like the center always make me want to whisper.
    so glad you snap, snap, snapped!
    mrs t james

  3. What a great post dahhling... I did smile with your closing "people are now bigger, longer legs & all that" true!


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