A Requiem For Celeste
July 13, 2019
Celeste Martin: November 11, 1927—December 13, 2018
By Denise Marsa
How many times have you heard about a New York City landlady giving every tenant in her multiple landmark rental buildings a special gift bag filled with Christmas goodies? Every year Celeste Martin looked forward to taking her staff, including her driver, carpenter and super, shopping at Macy’s Herald Square to help her fill 39 gift bags for her tenants. These were no ordinary gift bags, just as she was no ordinary landlady. As a tenant in one of her buildings, I was always thrilled with my gift bag’s content. One year I received a 1999 Perrier–Jouët (which I still have) and another year a 2011 Rose Veuve Clicquot. Yes, champagne! Accompanying the champagne was a bottle of Johnny Walker Black or a Johnny Walker variety pack. There were also always imported sweets and chocolates along with the spirits. read full article
Had a great 4 hours today working with Grumpy Films’s Daniel Sears and Jason Jude on a sizzle reel to promote THE PASS. I answered questions, played a few pieces from a few songs featured in the show. I even read a vignette about the time I walked out on a London stage, the first performance of the LUCKY STARS tour with Dean Friedman, in 5 inch heels! Talk about shaking in my knees.
We walked around my neighborhood in the West Village and in particular the corner of Gay & Christopher Street. I was pointing out points of interest including a former neighbor’s home Ruth McKenney where she worked on My Sister Eileen which later turned into the Broadway musical Wonderful Town. Ruth and her sister Eileen, an actress, lived in one of my landlady’s building’s when her father owned it. I also shared how friendly all the neighbors were when I first moved in, this very intense guy always said hello to me as I anxiously walked down Gay Street to the NYU piano rooms to practice. Turns out it was the radical lawyer and civil rights activist William Kunstler.
The funny thing is writing THE PASS has given me a 90 minute look at my life with an original soundtrack score to add to the drama & laughter.