Tuesday, May 03, 2005

May 3 Part IV
Lemonade in Eden Entry - from April 29th

Of course, the train got stuck going in. Typical.

I treated myself to the walk from Grand Central Station (42 St. and Park Avenue) to Ruby Falls, where the event was held (29th St. between 11th and 12th Avenues). For those of you unfamiliar with New York, that’s a couple of miles, at least. But it was a lovely day and worth it.

I grabbed my favorite tomato-basil-mozzarella snack from Pret A Manger and ate as I walked. I hadn’t walked down Madison Avenue in ages. I’m sorry to see that the Pierpont Morgan Library is still under renovation – it’s one of my favorite places in the city and hasn’t it now been closed for two years? Come on, people, it didn’t need much work

Across 29th Street, from Park Avenue through the neighborhood filled with wholesale accessory stores and sharply spiced vending wagons further west through the converted warehouses, private investigative agencies and storage facilities.

The space itself is beautiful and the materials the creative team was in the process of assembling were amazing.

Most of the creative team hadn’t slept in at least thirty-six hours, which is the norm for an event like this. They were tired, but holding together well. I ended up stitching – which isn’t something I like to do on these things, I’d rather work electrics or sets – but they needed help finishing the costumes, so I did as much as I could. Lots of sewing elastic onto hats and rigging catsuits and the like. We also had to rig a harness for the woman wearing the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. It was like wearing a showgirl headdress, only heavier. But it sure looked fantastic! The costumes were amazing in color, form and texture.

For the most part, everyone was nice. There was one performer – let’s just say I’m going to find out her name because there is no way she’d ever be in one of my pieces. And there were others that I’d hire in a second.

So the costumes were sewn as the runway was astro-turfed as the Cookie Tree of Life was built as the auction items were set up enticingly as the lights and sound somehow found their way into place. Somehow – nothing, it all had to do with creative teamwork and no one shying away from whatever had to be done. The busy hum built as the hours ticked closer to the culmination of this project into which so much love and effort was poured. It reminded me of all the things I liked about working in theatre before I worked on Broadway – the sense that anything could happen if we all just lent a hand – or a foot or a whatever – to get the job done, everyone flowing into every aspect of the piece, and it being a true collaboration.

I had to leave before it started, but I have no doubt that it was an enormous success and will be the first of many events we see from this team. I’m looking forward to hearing all the wonderful details. And I’m glad both that I got to contribute a basket to the event, and that I got to help out, even if it was only for a few hours.

D.

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