Dinner at BBQ with hahathor and Ed (and 2 of her friends). This would normally be done in Boston, but they were visiting.
Benefit 85th birthday concert at Carnegie Hall for Theodore Bikel. Given the age of the honoree and the fact that during the first half of the concert, the performers addressed their remarks to a faraway box, I assumed Bikel was sitting in a wheelchair in a lap robe, frail, smiling weakly at the praise. He came out after intermission and I couldn't have been more wrong: the man is robust and deep-voiced, singing with his recent (third) bride at the piano. The program was packed with klezmer, '60s folk (Peter and Paul - Mary's been ill, Tom Paxton, Arlo Guthrie, David Amram), song, music, merriment, which I watched from a great 4th row seat. Alan Alda emceed. We sang along to "Puff" and "Those Were the Days." Special evening.
"The Proposal" at Lincoln Square the day before it opened, through Time Out NY. I wasn't expecting anything profound and very much enjoyed this fluffy Sandra Bullock romantic comedy (NOT the one about a crossword constructor). Bah humbug to the 48% Rotten Tomatoes score. Guest J laughed a lot, too. We continued the tour of Ollies branches begun at "Up" and went across the street for dinner afterward.
The documentary "Secrecy" at the Harvard Club, through Harvardwood, an organization for alums working in entertainment. This was my first Harvardwood event, after 3 years of membership. It was an oldish crowd; the event was was also open to regular Harvard Club members. This got me thinking about the possibility of joining (that grad degree makes me eligible), though a look at the dues made me doubt it would be worth it. Besides, I feel no connection to the school; after all, they rejected me as an undergrad. Columbia also has a club (open to Barnard grads) shared with Princeton, for similar dues, but it's probably not my kind of thing. Back to the movie - it deftly explores the question of where to draw the line between the public's need to know and national security concerns. Director Robb Moss took time out from his Father's Day to lead a discussion afterward.
I had time to kill after the movie, so caught "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past." This did even worse than "The Proposal" on Rotten Tomatoes - 28%. While there was an excess of horndog attitude and a gratuitous Barnard joke, this was engaging and often funny.
Next stop, Melvin Van Peebles' "Unmitigated Truth: Life, a Lavatory, Loves, and Ladies" (see review). I'm not sure what to make of this quirky show, held in a tiny theater, that is true to its title when the star sits in a "lavatory" singing about swirling turds. Some people left at intermission, but I stuck around, leaving with the final catchy song on replay in my head.
"Cheri" - SAG/WGA screening (thanks, neighbor J!). I liked this Belle Epoque tale of a high-class French courtesan a tad past her prime, and her relationship with the young son of her colleague. Gorgeously photographed.