So EVERYONE in New York that lived through the legendary nightlife hey-day of the 70s and 80s, has been buzzing about the new play The Village: A Disco Day Dream.
It’s set in 1979 and like it’s inspiration, Thornton Wilder‘s Our Town, it’s a day in the (very gay) life of a small America town called New York City. The cast invited the audience to be part of the show even before it got started with go-go boys offering,
Candy or Vodka shots?!”
I had both. My pal, celeb chef Cary Richardson & I parked it in the balcony and when the seats I saved for pals weren’t used, who sat next to me? Gossip, nightlife legend, THE George Wayne. We go WAY back to the days of when we both worked at Vanity Fair, but sorry no pics – he had to split just as the show was nearly over.
The audience was populated with the very people that lived through the era being illustrated onstage. As I came in Marc Jacobs was arriving too and I barked at him in the lobby,
Startled, he replied,
He famously raved about the first run of the show saying,
I laughed, I cried, I danced in my seat…”
Well, he’s right, we all WERE dancing in our seats and it’s worth seeing again. The choreography by Robin Carrigan was just perfectly disco-y and fun and the costumes by Paul Alexander were spot-on, all pulled together by the fabulous direction of Adam Pivirotto.
The perfectly cast, very diverse cast includes Jack Bartholet, Chuck Blasius, Glace Chase, Ashley Chavonne, Antony Cherrie, Eileen Dover, Richard JMV, Antwon LeMonte, and Christopher Patterson-Rosso.
I won’t enumerate here the various acts, scenes, performances and highlights here, because this review is meant to urge you to go see it for yourself. (I hate those movie trailers that recap the whole film. (“THANKS, I don’t want to see it now!”)
The storyline and characters are funny (hilarious at times) sweet, sexy, and ultimately really moving. In Act 2 you get hit with the loss of those in The Village who didn’t make it to 1994. (No spoilers!) But as specific as the story is to that generation (mine), The Village is universal in its humanity, vulnerability and heart.
Its ending urges us to savor life now, while we are actually living it, appreciate the past, and love your friends, while you have the chance.
Afterwards at the lobby/ bar party, Nora said,
Last night was so much fun, I love this cast and crew…
When asked about the heartstrings segment of the show she told me,
I didn’t want it to be maudlin…”
It’s not. But it does bring a tear to your eye by the final curtain, for all the right reasons.
After the wild applause, the audience, cast and even some who came just for the party, got to hang out have drinks, catch up and fawn over there stellar cast. It was hosted by Love, Connie and my old pal, the divine diva, Joey Arias was there, along with legendary nightlife photographer Dustin Pittman, and Thierry Mugler expert Stella Ellis and more.
I love that older peeps get some of the obscure references but younger ones get he show too and everyone seemed to get the Joey Arias/ Joey Fiourucci one last night and so fun to have him there…”
But the audience after-party star of the night was definitely Carmen D’Alessio! If that name is not familiar to you, do your disco/ Studio 54 homework, kids! She was the original PR gal that put Studio on the map back in the day.
At the after-party we were all munching pizza slices (served by the playwright herself) and I leaned over and asked Carmen above the disco din,
So, does that get the Official Disco Seal of Approval..?”
She replied perfectly, in sound-bite, PR speak,
YES! Absolutely. Approved. Great story. I loved it!”
Before the show I met my good pals, filmmakers P David Ebersole & Todd Hughes and a few friends for cocktail at The Standard East Village. Todd, David & I were all just in Merida, MX where I have a house and they now live full-time. Todd & Nora were friends back in the day and the young “fresh-off-the-boat newbie”, played by Jack Bartholet, was based in part a young Todd.
I helped get the cast assembled for a photo, gold lamé-wearing, go-go guy Pete Ramirez turned it out and Nora got her groove thang on with him (see Instagram).
Except for a lot of missing characters (we were all remembering our long lost friends) it was kinda like it was the old days all over again, except we are old –ER.
And in case you’re thinking, “Oh, that looks amazing. Sorry I missed it…” just GO! Be a part of it. Every show is a party and as one friend posted it’s,
…the best crowd of New Yorkers you could imagine!!”
It just hit me why we all love the play so much –IT’S ABOUT US!
And as they say,
It takes a village, people!
THE VILLAGE! A DISCO DAYDREAM runs through Friday, June 22nd. Performances are June 1st & 2nd, 7th & 8th, 16th & 17th, 22nd &23rd with possible shows added. All shows are at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie Street between Rivington and Delancey). Run time is approximately 70 minutes. For tickets and info go here.