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Harvey's Broadway Blog: Wackiest Week Ever!!

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Harvey Returns! Welcome to The Return of special new series on BroadwayWorld.com - four time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein's personal MySpace blog of bringing his brand new musical, A Catered Affair to Broadway. We'll be exclusively picking up Harvey Fierstein's blog as he shares his first hand reports from rehearsals to Opening Night (and beyond). Check back for updates as rehearsals get underway!


I AIN'T KIDDING - THIS HAD TO HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE WACKIEST WEEKENDS I'VE EVER SURVIVED!

(BUT SURVIVE IT, I DID. AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS)

NEW DRAMATIST LUNCHEON

The wackiness began on Thursday when I was honored with a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from that wonderful institution, THE NEW DRAMATISTS. Oh, is was a star studded event sporting everyone from Celeste Holm to STEW.

HAIRSPRAY'S DYNAMITES, Faith Prince and ELMO performed. I was toasted by the likes of Arthur Laurents and had messages from Jerry Herman and STILLER & MEARA.

DRAMA LEAGUE LUNCHEON

On Friday I MC'd the annual Drama League Lunch. For those who have never attended, it's a bit like those old MGM luncheons we've seen photos of. A three tiered dias is filled with more than SIXTY STARS of the stage from the past season. Everyone from Lawrence Fishburne, S EPATHIA MERKENSON, James Earl Jones, Christine Baranski, Dallas Roberts, Kerry Butler, Patti LuPone and on and on.

As MC my job is to introduce each one who then stands and makes a brief remark or two. I wish I was not so tired or I would relate a few of the tales. My favorite speakers of the afternoon were Rosie Perez, CHAZZ PALMENTIERI and Patrick Stewart.

AWARDS are also given out. The most important being the PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR which goes to a single performer and can only be won once in a career. (I was lucky enough to get it for HAIRSPRAY). Anyway, this year it went to La LU PONE. And she could not have been more gracious in her acceptance speech.

The big surprise of the luncheon, however, was that A Catered Affair won BEST MUSICAL OF THE SEASON!!!! I was so thrilled and surprised and GRATEFUL.

now that was a GREAT luncheon!

Jerry Bock'S BIRTHDAY

Sunday evening I was asked to sing IF I WERE A RICH MAN for legendary composer Jerry Bock'S 80th Birthday. The celebration was to be small. Just about 50 folks, And it was held at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park. Since Mr Bock allowed me to do FIDDLER ON THE ROOF on Broadway, how could I possibly say no. So... After my matinee, and before running up to the DRAMA DESK AWARDS, I stopped off in Gramercy Park and waited for my introduction.

Well... When I walked out onto the small stage and looked out at the small group of people who I'd be singing to, I just about died. The first row alone consisted of... Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, FREDDY GERSHON, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Joe Stein, KRISTEN CHENOWITH and Brad Oscar!

I sang. They laughed. I ran!!!! HA!!!! That was some event.

DRAMA DESK AWARDS

And the weekend concluded with the DRAMA DESK AWARD CEREMONY for which A Catered Affair was nominated for TWELVE AWARDS!!!! Can you imagine? TWELVE NOMINATIONS AND NOT A SINGLE WIN! HA!!!

But I sat together with the rest of my cast, and right next to my friend and director John Doyle and we just laughed and giggled the entire evening away. When I was backstage getting ready to present 3 awards, I got to visit with RAUL ESPARZA, Kelli O'Hara, Michael McKean, Marisa Tomei, MATT MORRISON and Linda Lavin so, all in all, it was a magical night for me.

In fact I probably looked too happy as I was leaving the auditorium at the end of the evening. Someone actually asked me why I didn't look sad after losing all of those awards. I couldn't help but laugh as I answered, "Well, either I'm a fool or we have different ideas about what's important."

Honestly, there is disappointment in not winning an award, but awards have nothing at all to do with my art. Awards help sell tickets, for sure. But they don't make you a better actor or writer. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! I am proud of all the awards I've won in my career, but I'd trade them off, one by one, without a second thought. But I'd NEVER give up a single show I've worked on. (Well, maybe my appearance on MIAMI VICE.)

NEXT WEEK

So, on we go to a whole new week!!!! A Catered Affair continues to do terrific business and garner standing ovations night after night. And our matinee audiences are actually my faves. There there so many tears... It's most rewarding. Wish we could add another matinee, but I don't know how.

NO PHOTOS

I have to apologize for the lack of photos on this edition of the blog. I have a camera filled with pics, but... LOST THE CORD.... so I can't download them for you.

But I will remedy that as soon as I get to the big city tomorrow and promise to get you photos for next week. Okay? So...

STAY TUNED!!


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