The Wasp Woman, celebrity sightings, and other sundry events.

A busy end to a busy week(end), y’all.

This morning I woke up and went running in Central Park, which was an adventure because many of the entries to the park were blocked for the Puerto Rican Pride Parade that was marching along Fifth Avenue.  Also, it is easy to get distracted when you run in the park because there are pretty things.  Like the Belvedere Fountain.  And the Belvedere Castle.  And the pretty lake with the pretty row boats.  I’ll have to do a park + camera excursion at some point because it is so beautiful and manicured and not real, just the way I like it.  Olmsted is the man.  I also randomly ran into my sister’s UF theatre buddy Caitlin (Kaitlin?), who was on her way to an internship at the Delacorte theater.  I see so many people I know here, it is ridiculous.

After running I showered and ate lunch (leftover brisket!) to the sounds of the Puerto Rican Pride Parade drifting through my window.  I didn’t actually get to see the parade, but I saw lots of people walking to and from the parade, and definitely heard much of the parade.  Also, lots of girls in too-tight jeans with their mid-drifts hanging over said jeans and belly shirts.  I don’t really understand that, but to each their own.

I headed to midtown for the reading of the first act of Phil’s musical The Wasp Woman. I’d seen a few songs on Tuesday but this was the first act in its entirety, all the songs, book, and all.  I am biased, but i can honestly say that it was fantastic.  Of course there are a few extremely minor issues because the musical is still in its infancy, but Phil and his lyricist Blake should really be proud of what they’ve accomplished.  The music is fantastic and the lyrics are catchy and the story is really fun and compelling.  I have so many extremely talented friends, but Phil is definitely at the top of the talented list.  I am extremely proud of him and what he’s accomplished, and am looking forward to seeing what he produces next.

Blake Hackler and Philip Chernyak, creators of The Wasp Woman: The Musical.
Blake Hackler and Philip Chernyak, creators of The Wasp Woman: The Musical.

I am in the elevator post-reading and this short, hispanic woman with curly hair steps into the car.  IT IS VANESSA FROM SIX FEET UNDER.  The actress is Justina Machado.  I loved her on Six Feet Under, she was powerful and heartbreaking.  I told her I thought she was great on the show.  She seemed gratified.  This pleased me.

Justina Machado, who played Vanessa on Six Feet Under.  I saw her, in an elevator.  It was awesome.
Justina Machado, who played Vanessa on Six Feet Under. I saw her, in an elevator. It was awesome.

I knew many people at the reading–both new folks who I have met since I came up here and some people I knew from back in Florida.  And, of course, Phil’s parents.  After the reading and the feed back session that followed finished I went to Wondee Siam II with Phil and some of his friends from UCF who I had met during my various trips to Orlando over the past few years.  We hung out for a bit and talked and I had some dumplings, and it was good to see many familiar faces.

I parted ways with the Orlando crowd and cut through the theatre district to the subway.  I passed the God of Carnage stagedoor and saw James Gandolfini signing autographs.  He didn’t look too pleased; I hear he is shy.

A mobster, uncomfortable with fame.
A mobster, uncomfortable with fame.

I then headed to Bryant Park to catch the F into Brooklyn, where I was meeting up with a large contingent of Sarasota Jews: Rita Mazer (a dear family friend who has known me since I was born), her two fabulous daughters Lauren and Allison, Lauren’s husband Gary, Allison’s husband Jeremy, who is also a native Sarasotan and who tutored me at Hebrew school, Louis Levitt and his awesome wife Blythe.  Rita was up visiting her daughters, and decided to get some of the Sarasotans in the city together for food and drinks and conversation.  I adore Rita and her husband Barry (who is still in Sarasota, hi Barry!) and always wished I’d been closer in age to her two daughters, because we definitely would’ve been good friends.  Now that we are all in our 20s we can make up for lost time, however.  Win!

Anyhow, it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and to catch up with Sarasotans/Pine View alumni who I hadn’t seen in some time.  Also, more people in the city with whom to play!  We went to Joya, a Thai place in Carroll Gardens, and it was super yummy (and thanks for dinner Rita!) I had the veggie pad thai, which was yummy and full of lots and lots of vegetables.  Win.

Delicious veggie pad thai, with enough for leftovers for tomorrow.
Delicious veggie pad thai, with enough for leftovers for tomorrow.

I actually spent more time talking than eating, however.  SRQ love, etc.

Louis ordered full fish something.  I am amazed by food that is still entirely intact and so I took a picture, and Louis posed.  Thanks Louis!
Louis ordered full fish something. I am amazed by food that is still entirely intact and so I took a picture, and Louis posed. Thanks Louis!
Rita with her daughters and sons-in-law.
Rita with her daughters and sons-in-law.
A small, but fierce, Sarasota contingent.
A small, but fierce, Sarasota contingent.
This is the best action shot EVER.
This is the best action shot EVER.
The vermin, as our parents would say.
The vermin, as our parents would say.

It was a fun time, with fun people.  A great end to another great weekend.  Tomorrow: Monday, and week three at work.

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