Ok, I have a story to tell you. Many years ago (MANY years ago) I was in an Equity waiver production of “Wonderful Town,” written by Leonard Bernstein. (“Equity Waiver” meaning the leads were Equity, the supporting cast was whatever was capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Yes – I was one of them.) We were opening in Ft. Wayne Indiana at a quite respectable theatre when we got work that Bernstein himself might come to see our show. (We were one of the first groups outside of New York to actually produce this musical.) On the night he was scheduled to attend, we outdid ourselves … (What if he likes me? What if HE likes ME?) I mean, he was doing SOMETHING in Cleveland at the time. What if …?) But he didn’t show. Instead, he sent a 21-year-old LACKY to see OUR show and EVALUATE IT to the great maestro. I remember, greatly disappointed, standing backstage and listening to this character sing our praises – that we had done good, that he would tell Bernstein that we had done him proud – yeah yeah yeah. Bullshit. Most of our cast dispersed. (There was a bar two blocks away we called home.) I felt sorry for this guy – obviously he had made a 200-mile-trip for a less than enthusiastic response. So as the cast departed, I invited him to join us. “I can’t,” he responded, “got to get back to Cleveland.” We shook hands in parting. “Jack Petersen,” I said, “glad to meet you.” “Steve,” he responded. “Steve,” I asked. “Sondheim,” he responded, “Steve Sondheim.”
On my own, with all of my falls.
3 years ago