My first day of shooting for “The Gilded Age” Season Two was originally scheduled for June 21st, so I went for a stay in England from May 10th –June 10th. But some positive Covid tests upended the filming schedule, and I had to return on the 4th, to film on the 5th.

It was no great inconvenience: I was there for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (familiarly known as The Platty Jooby) and was even present at the lighting of the brazier atop the Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point of the Malvern Hills, and found watching the appearance of twinkling lights all across from the Welsh Mountains to the Cotswold Hills quite exhilarating, as was the descent from the Beacon in the dark with the path lit by our mobile phones.

Return to the Brook House kitchen set with my old friends was highly enjoyable, and it’s good to be back involved in what promises to be an even more engrossing Second Season than the First.

Jesse Green of The New York Times predicted that “Trouble in Mind” and LaChanze would win Tonys but it was not to be. However, the show achieved four Antonyo Award nominations, the winners to be announced in the Fall.

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On May 4th, I gave a concert of Victorian Parlor Songs, entitled “Bannister Sings – The Butler Did It”, accompanied by Nancy Winston, at The Salmagundi Club, 147 Fifth Avenue, NYC.

“Trouble in Mind” stacked up a series of award nominations: on May 9th for 4 Tony Awards: “Best Revival of a Play”, Best Leading Actress in a Play (La Chanze), Best Featured Actor in a Play (Chuck Cooper) and Best Costumes (Emilio Sosa); and on May 16th, for 2 Drama Desk Awards - for Best Revival of a Play and Best Featured Actor (Chuck Cooper). On May 17th LaChanze won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play.

“Presence the Play” by William E. Jefferson, in which I played “Lucifer” recorded at Radio Waves Studios on August 10th 2021, produced by Sue Zizza. wins Two Gold Communicator Awards for Excellence in Writing and Editing, now available from Audible via Blackstone Publishing. (May 11th)

Because “The Gilded Age – Season Two" had no need of my presence until June 21st, a trip to London from May 10th seemed obvious, so that I could be present for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (The Platty Jooby, as it was called on line.).

In an echo from the past, “Muck and Brass” by Tom Clarke, a six-part mini-series, produced

by Central Independent Television, dating from 1982 was re-aired on UK’s Channel 8 and London Live. The show was about a thoroughly corrupt property developer in the British Midlands, played by Mel Smith. I was a smooth and slimy merchant banker called, aptly, Basil Bastedes.

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Where did that month go?

On April 7th, the cast of Season Two of “The Gilded Age” assembled for a virtual read-through of episodes 4 and 5. Many interesting plot turns lie ahead.

I had weekly rehearsals with Nancy Winston for our Evening of Victorian Parlor Songs scheduled for The Coffee House at the Salmagundi Club on May 5th.

At the Tenebrae Service on Maundy Thursday, I did some readings for Marble Collegiate Church’s Music Director, my old friend, Kenneth Dake. It’s become a regular event depending on what I’m working on and where.

I was approached through this very website by Charles Kirsch, whose podcast interviews with theatre professionals now number over 100, and can be found as Broadway Babble on The interview by zoom on April 20th was a delight: he’s very adept at drawing out people to talk about themselves, their careers, and the people they’ve worked with along the way. In our industry that may seem easy, but his interest and knowledge belies his 14 years, and I reckon that encourages his subjects to open up more than they might to jaded interviewers. His talk, for instance, with survivors of the original cast of “Applause” was fascinating and revealing, especially when it seemed that events backstage had intriguing parallels with the story of “All About Eve” on which the musical was based. Strongly recommended.

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