Friday, March 20, 2009


I went to see Jane Fonda on Broadway the night of St. Patrick's Day. It was a packed house and she was fantastic. She's 71, tall and fit and still has that young voice -- when she projected on stage (no microphones used) if you closed your eyes you heard that famous movie voice. Or the voice of the exercise guru of the 80's (yes, I had the album with her in tights!), or the radical with the shag haircut in the 60s (I remember the night she won her first Oscar for "Klute" and how controversial it was in America).

Anyway, she's lived many lives -- made some contributions -- made some blunders -- but she's a darn good actress. Must be in the Fonda DNA. The cast of "33 Variations" is one to see.

In the audience was another childhood fave of mine -- Susan St. James. Now for you young'ins who don't know who that is -- she was the star of "McMillain & Wife" on NBC in the 70's and "Katie & Allie" on CBS in the '80s. She also starred in one of my favorite movies as a kid called "Where Angels Go Trouble Follows". It's a story about two troublesome teens at a Catholic boarding school who go on a cross country trip with a bus load of nuns. It's a riot and corny, but Susan St. James is a hoot and she matured into a fun actress.

Her youngest son was killed a few years ago in a plane accident around Thanksgiving... she had retired to raise her kids. I wish she'd come back to TV.

New York City is that kind of place where you can stroll around and see celebrities. I've seen Harrison Ford, Joan Allen, Tim Robbins, Luke Perry, Tobi McGuire, Glenn Close, Lauren Bacall, and lots of others. I'm always thrilled, but have to act, you know, NY cool.

Until next time.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Last night we had our first playwrights meeting at a small black box theater in the heart of Times Square on W. 46th Street. It's a historic building. The theater is on the third floor of an old Catholic Church. All wooden building. The people who run the 15th Annual 15 Minute Play Festival are delightful theater folks... happy, smiling, passionate and eager to help new artists. No wonder people get bitten by the "theater bug". It's a welcoming community.

We went over details about staging, sound cues, lighting, directing, and ticket sales. In this popular festival, tickets go fast since the house only sits about 90 people. As fate would have it, my play was chosen to go up on May 6th, my birthday -- so I'll have some family and friends coming -- and it's great because right next door to the theater is Rosie O'Grady's. It's a great Irish Pub... so my Irish family will be happy after the show ends and they get to raise a glass (or two) close by.

I'm already thinking of my next play. I have a germ of an idea. What's great about these short plays is that they're only 10-15 pages long... but can tell a complete story in a short span of time. And to see what I wrote on the page come to life before my eyes on the stage is going to be a blast of a lifetime!

PS -- if you're a Jane Fonda fan (like I am -- I know, I know, she was a radical in the 60's and all that Hanoi Jane stuff) but I've always loved her as an actress. She's back on Broadway now after 46 years. I'm going to see her show on St. Patrick's Day. If you like reading great blogs, go to and read her back-stage posts. They're honest, funny, and all about show biz. She's also on Twitter. And now she's joining Facebook. Jane Fonda is 71 years old. Wow.

Guess it's never too late to try new things and take new risks.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Do you know how sometimes in life you look for signs? A point in the right direction? Something ,to say, -- keep on this path or go this way?

Well, I felt yesterday like I received that sign. In my last post, I mentioned that my short play is going to be produced for Off-Off Broadway (my very first) and it's a new venture for this writer. I've always focused just on feature spec scripts. Not even TV... features. Aiming for the big dream. I've had scripts optioned, but it's been a grind.

I decided last summer to write two plays. Less than six months later, one is being produced in New York. It's such a relief after years of struggling as a screenwriter. Now, getting back to the sign... I found yesterday my play is scheduled to go on stage May 6th -- which happens to be my birthday.

How cool is that? Isn't that a great birthday gift from the gods? From my mother in heaven? From the writing angels? Somebody?

Is it just a coincidence or a sign? Now, I'm not sure I'll become a full-time playwright, but it's nice to see something I've worked on get accepted and produced without a lot of "drama". It's nice to know nobody will change the words of the play, but me, if I'm so inclined. It's wonderful to see things progress. And New York is one exciting town to do it in.

I found my director. He's onboard. We start rehearsals with the actors next month. There is a playwrights meeting (some 35 of us) next Sunday. I'll keep you posted.

Until next time. Keep looking for signs.