Feb 2

Chorus Line is back. And so am I. I saw the original in 1975 as a 25-year-old starry eyed stage manager who believed that my work in the wacky, burgeoning field of experimental theater would feed me body and soul.

I am back weeping in the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater. I am now 56, and old enough to be friends with the man whose name graces the theater. That is a small testament to the time and water under my theatrical bridge. I have worked all over the world with various theater, dance, and interdisciplinary companies. I have gone to galas and cleaned the toilets. I have held friends, too many friends, in my arms as they moved toward dying because of the scourge of AIDS. I have raised funds, raised the curtain, razed buildings, and endeavored to produce work that might raise spirits.

In the end I left working in the theater to write about it. The endless scrounging for money, funders, audiences, and enthusiasm had taken its toll and I moved to become a journalist, a writer. Still working in the arts but not as gut wrenching. And so I know, I feel, much of the struggle that is sung, danced and emoted in A Chorus Line. I have never been a performer, yet am married to one. And still I know the agony of “I need that job. I really need that job.”

Working in experimental theater, working as an artist is more a calling than a profession. And A Chorus Line vibrantly portrays that sentiment. After all, the very bright, creative Michael Bennett spent hours interviewing and recording real dancers’ experiences, people who were struggling to find their inner muses and feed them through work in the theater. And even though there is an ongoing controversy about whether or not they were ripped off when they were paid a dollar for their heartfelt stories, that is a question for the lawyers. Our only task as audience is to allow them to move us, to enlighten us, and for many of us from a certain era, to transport us to another time.

I sat, and as the lights dimmed it was as if a time machine took me back to 1975. One dancer, Bobby, wore a green T-shirt emblazoned with the logo tkts on it. This represented the then new organization selling tickets at half price in Father Duffy Square, 47th Street. The Theater Development Corporation ran it, and many of us wore the shirts as we worked hawking this innovation to tourists and passersby. Mine was blue with hot pink lettering. I had not given that shirt a thought in 30 years, yet here was its mate singing and dancing, and even this simple shirt flooded me with memory.

As audiences, we have now seen many shows that used Chorus Line as inspiration, a stage filled with great stories illuminated by performers who are beyond human in their capacity to move, sing, and fill the bare stage, vibrating with emotion. This 2006 Chorus Line does just that. Each of us in the audience reacts to different characters: Are we reliving coming out and discovering homosexuality, recalling spurned love, shyness triumphed by performance, or the thrill of making magic?

When near the finale Diana sings “What I Did For Love,” I lost it. I realized that my life, the crazy arc of my life, was all lived for love. I worked for more than two decades in the theater, where I earned nothing, had no savings, no IRA or retirement plan, but I was crammed full of excitement, had a coterie of equally joyful, wild friends and traveled around the world in circles. I have watched the spinning beauty of dancers, had my chest heave with the vibrancy of song, and seen my eyes melt night after night as words unlocked places I never knew existed. And yes, I did it all for love.

And yes, now I have less in my hard-figure balance sheet than many others who eschewed making magic and worked in what we used to call disparagingly “straight jobs.” But I have sewn to me, along with my wrinkles, blisters, and sliver hairs, an array of memory, experience, and people whom I would never trade. When what you do is actually done for love, then there is no balance sheet that can measure it.

If A Chorus Line will do nothing else, it will remind us of the magic that is theater, music, and dance, and for 90 minutes we will revel in that reality.

Dec 18

People associate diamonds with wealth and power for so long, but what is on your mind when you imagine Crystals? Sparkly, luxurious, and expensive, right? It sounds just as good if not better than a diamond! While the economy is just starting to pick up again, you can get the same beauty and high class style from a crystal rather than a diamond, and here are 10 reasons why.

– Crystal is unique and stylish, diamonds are the “go to” gem of jewelry, so think about how surprised your gift receiver will be when they find out it is a high quality crystal!

– They come in all shapes and sizes, makes, and colors so there is plenty of variety for everyone.

– A diamond over one carat could potentially cost over $1000, while a crystal of the same size costs $125!

– You do not have to have any knowledge about certification, inclusions, grading scales or colors to buy a crystal.

– You do not even have to know the difference between a diamond and a crystal at all.

– Also, because a crystal is so relatively cheap compared to a diamond, it will not be such a huge loss if you lose or misplace it.

– If you are worried about the ethics of buying gems, you need not worry if your crystals are “conflict” or not, unlike a diamond!

– You will be unique; no environmental damage was done to mine the crystals and no workers were exploited in the process.

– You could also think of a crystal as a “stepping” stone to a diamond if you so choose!

– With celebrities catching on to the crystal craze you have no reason not to buy one.

May 7

It has been said over and over again that good communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. While many couples may face communication issues in their marriage at some point or another, therapy may be the best option for those who wish to get through deep-rooted problems that have accumulated because of poor communication habits. Dr. Gary Stollman offers couples therapy in Los Angeles that is based on the notion that people need to talk about their problems as they arise. According to Dr. Gary, many couples avoid bringing up the smaller issues; however those smaller issues turn into major ones. As a professional psychotherapist in LA, Dr. Gary also points out that listening is another major component of effective communication.

Dr. Gary offers either one or two-hour sessions that can be conducted in person or over the phone. He can also help with other emotional issues that may have a negative impact on your marriage life, such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and sexual issues.