Every fourth Wednesday of the month, the “VIP Access” column will serve up advice on how to make your theater-going experiences cheaper, easier and more fulfilling with inside scoop from the experts.
You know that silly old cliche about Broadway actors heading out after their shows for food and drinks, not heading home until the wee hours of the morning? It’s all true. You try doing three hours of singing/dancing aerobics, getting a heroin-like shot of applause, and then going right to bed. It ain’t gonna happen no matter how much Ambien you’ve got. So if you want to do as the Romans do (if the Romans in question are from a revival of Julius Caesar), prepare to reset your clock and hit one of these four popular post-show, theater-district hangouts:
Joe Allen: This is the classic and still popular Broadway bistro of all Broadway bistros. With posters from notorious flops on the walls (a mentor of mine cheekily likes to be sat at the table under one for a show he wrote) and air kisses being proffered from table to table, it feels like Margo Channing could walk in any minute. Years ago, a friend and I once followed Liza Minnelli into Joe Allen off the street, sat at the bar, told the bartender to just keep filling our Cosmos and surreptitiously watched a birthday celebration for Sam Harris (you know, from Star Search) during which Miss Minnelli sang Happy Birthday while Jeckyl/Hyde clapped along. Seriously. And I’m sure it could happen again today.
A tip: I’m going to contradict myself already. Sue me. If you really want to hang with stars at Joe Allen, go around 5pm on a two show day. There will be actresses checking their blackberries and picking at the bounteous La Scala salad after their matinee. Personally, I’d order the awesomely filling, Mom-approved meatloaf and chase it with a scotch from the bar, but I don’t have to get up on stage later that night.