By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The guy seemed so grounded for a recent Tony winner (for Assassinsanother killer role). Is he really still such a slice of humble pie? Yes, he swore, "In this business there are plenty of opportunities to be reminded of your place in the food chain. That's the beauty of Broadway." His biggest reminder was ages ago, when he was a collator and had to walk around a table with eight other unemployed actors, robotically taking a piece of paper off each stack. That's worse than moving furniture.
Walk around a table and over to the jukebox and you get Jersey Boys the "Rag Doll" to riches story of the '60s vocal group the Four Seasons, which may not be Sweeney Todd, but it's better than Good Vibrations, and you can quote me on that. The falsetto-laden show uses the expert singers the material deserves, ending up with some big Gaudio dynamite. But while the evening entertains when it's being sassy, it struggles to overcome its rote chronology and awkward segues like "Speaking of love, I guess it's time to talk about women." When it delves into the dark side of famethe FRANKIE VALLI of the dolls, as it wereit's like a Joisey version of Taboo minus the drag and the drugs (except for one tragic OD). That's the beauty of Broadway. "Isn't it fabulous?" cooed IVANA TRUMP at intermission. "What high notes! And 'Big Girls Don't Cry' I can relate to that." How about "Rag Doll"? I asked, interested. "No," she said, without pause.
Now take your titties outta here. This isn't a patch, it's a gossip column. See ya.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Absurd Person Singular's DEBORAH RUSH was seen asking the manager of a Times Square deli, "You don't have any more Slim-Fast?" before leaving . . . While we're weight-issuing on the Rialto, am I the only one who noticed that The Odd Couple features two schlubs ROB BARTLETT and LEE WILKOFwho've played Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors? In fact, in the most recent major production, the former replaced the latter. Have I seen too many shows? . . . Or gone to too many parties? At one the other week, I saw adorable MARTHA PLIMPTON ask a food server for a scoop of ice cream in her coffee. (Try it with some Slim-Fast.) "Do you want ice cream in your coffee?" she asked her date, SNL's FRED ARMISEN. Rather than roll his eyes and say, "Ay, dios mio!" he politely declined . . . But I can't decline my new piles of Neurontin. Honey, everyone should try the stuff because Mama's on fire! . . . Back to The Odd Couple (the shit doesn't cure A.D.D.), I recently forgot to mention one line with gay subtext: "What am I gonna do with two women?" It often draws hoots.
Here's news about two men: Longtime rock historian DANNY FIELDS is doing a proverbial memoir. And decorator PETER SIBILIA is helping turn a shuttered downtown boutique into Kitchen Commune, a '30s-style place where they shake and bake right in front of you. (But they won't be serving Sweeney Toddstyle meat pies. Probably.) One last Broadway-queen query: What'll win the TonyThe Woman in White, the man in black, or The Color Purple? Color me intrigued.