Monday, February 17, 2014

Solving The Mystery of "The Photo"

Miss Universe, Some Old Guy, Miss USA
Many of you have wondered about the provenance of this remarkable photo, taken a week ago in New York City.  Here is my story.

In the past year, I have become friends with the very talented Andy Sandberg, Tony Award-winning Producer of "Hair," Director, Playwright and all around gifted and accomplished young man.  Andy told me that he was involved in helping to produce and direct a fundraiser for Broadway Cares - Equity Fights AIDS.  Andy also told me that if I wanted to attend a performance of "Pageant" on Monday evening, there might be one or two tickets left, so I jumped on it and bought a ticket.

The show was being held at Red Lacquer, a club on 52nd Street.  Audience members were seated at tables.  As I entered the club, I handed my ticket to the young lady who was handling tickets and seating guests.  Just then Andy saw me and came up to greet me.  "I see you are a special friend of Andy.  I guess I had better take good care of you," the young lady said as she escorted me to a table right in front of the stage,  I was early, and I was the first person at this table.  Soon, the table began to fill with a wondrous assortment of very attractive ladies from several generations.  As we all got settled into our places around the table, I began to talk with the woman directly across from me, Paula M. Shugart.  When I asked Paula what she does for work, she replied, "I am President of the Miss Universe Organization.  Allow me to introduce you to these two young ladies.  Sitting next to you is the reigning Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler from Maracay, Venezuela.   Across from Gabriela is Miss USA, Erin Brady of East Hampton, Connecticut."  The table also included a very striking and delightful former Miss New York.

I began to realize that the hostess really had taken care of "Andy's friend."  Recovering from the shock of this serendipitous encounter, I engaged in conversation with each of the ladies at the table.  They were charming, interesting, engaging and very affable.  And then the show began, and we all laughed together at this over-the-top parody of the beauty pageant world. While watching the show, I was also discretely texting friends to tell them who my companions were for the evening.  A typical response was: "If it weren't you I wouldn't believe it.  Post pictures!"  I seldom use my iPhone to take pictures, but I considered this to be an occasion worth making an exception for.  Hence, the picture you see above.

I have my friend, Andy Sandberg, to thank for giving me a little more "street cred" than I deserve, and for wonderful memories of a glorious evening.

At midnight, I turned back into a pumpkin!



Unknown said...

We'll done, Sir,

Unknown said...

We'll dome, Sir!