Not long ago, I told you how a trip to my beloved Marie’s Crisis piano bar at 59-Grove Street turned into a nightmare when I faced a long line of bachelorettes and other unlikely types waiting to get in. What’s more, when I finally made it inside, some new door person slash coat check guy told me to go back out, close the door in my face, and wait some more.
Unfortunately for him, I happened to be with an Observer reporter, who wrote a whole piece about the hellish encounter. Thankfully, it turns out that was just some quirky, off night and the curse has lifted! And he seems to be gone!
Last Friday, Marie’s was its old raucous, festive, illogical, spontaneous, showtune-loving self, filled with a magical group that encompassed all shapes, sizes, and sexualities, the common bond being a pure love of musical theater.
A customer was profusely thanking me for running an old Judy Garland rehearsal video on my blog that day, and then a tipsy woman approached me, begging me to tell Us Weekly to stop ragging on Amanda Bynes, as if I have anything to do with either of those things.
The pianist was playing Annie anthems, including “NYC,” which became a solo for an Anna Kendrick lookalike who emitted clarion tones, hit the high notes like gongs, and was a musical dead ringer for Laurie Beechman, the late legend who sing it in the original production.
“Are you Laurie Beechman?” I half-joked to her afterwards, wondering if there was some serious channeling going on.
“That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me,” she shrieked. “I love Laurie Beechman! I listen to her CD all day!” This was getting four-star socko.
Just then, another gal was soloing on “Home” from The Wiz and really punching it out with heavy duty soul, making her version a worthy successor to the Stephanie, Whitney, and Diana ones (not that I’ve done my research, ahem).
Then we sang along to Pippin (“Magic To Do”), Chicago (“All That Jazz”), and The Sound of Music (“My Favorite Things”), and more and more people kept streaming in–beauties, misfits, weirdos, camp queens–for the boozing, schmoozing, and giddy, communal play-acting.
It’s back! The Lord taketh away and the Lord giveth. And by the Lord, I mean Sondheim.