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Who was it who said “you never want to meet your heroes”? Although I wouldn’t call Ms. Neuwirth my hero (or heroine), I had admired her work since seeing her in “Chicago” in 1997. Prior to then, I had only known her repertoire to be that of the Lilith character she played so well in “Cheers”. Upon seeing her on Broadway, I was astounded by her singing and dancing skills--and at once realized how television so poorly utilizes the skills of great actors and actresses. In 2004, I saw Ms. Neuwirth in her excellent performance in “Here Lies Jenny” at the Zipper Theater. To enter the performance space of the Zipper Theater, one must walk through the bar area. After the show, Ms. Neuwirth and the cast were hanging out in the bar area signing autographs. I approached her--somewhat reluctantly and a bit nervously--to compliment her on her performance and express by admiration for her work, as per above. Her response was basically a nonchalant: “yeah, whatever”. After that incident, I regretted ever meeting her.
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Leonard Lopate hosts the conversation New Yorkers turn to each afternoon for insight into contemporary art, theater, and literature, plus expert tips about the ever-important lunchtime topic: food.
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