In my fifties, I wrote a short story called Every Day a Visitor. Published in The North American Review, it won a National Magazine Fiction Award. At a party celebrating same, i was asked by a disgruntled editor of The New Yorker why I hadn't sent the story to The New Yorker. "I did," I said.
In my sixties, I got an MFA degree at NYU in creative writing. My day job was investing in the stock market for clients. That paid the rent but, after 40 years, it began to wear thin. Writing was -- is -- where it's at. How else to make sense of this world?
In my seventies, I decided to turn a few stories into plays. I have always loved plays. My super duper Aunt Tillie snatched me at an early age from the leaf piles of New Rochelle and took me to Brother Rat, Life With Father, Arsenic and Old Lace. You Can't Take it With You. The Man Who Came to Dinner and more. I was enthralled. Thank you, Aunt Tillie.
One of the stories I turned into a play was Every Day a Visitor. At the Mcginn Cazale Theater on West 76th street, it sold out every night. Too soon, it ended. The Times wanted to run a story on it in the Sunday Arts Section -- but only if the play's run was extended. There were problems with that. Two actors had to leave the show and there was friction backstage. So we said no, we wouldn't extend it. Looking back, that was not a wise decision.
A second chance, however, has come and we have grabbed it like the brass ring. A revived, enhanced, better cast and better directed Every Day a Visitor will start previews Nov 2 at The Clurman Theater on Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street.
Now in my eighties, I know a bit about old age. It's all in the play. Can you make old age, with all its infirmities and death around the corner funny? Really funny?
Yes you can. Funny and compassionate and heartfelt with a life goes on beat. Come see for yourself at the Clurman. Online at www.EveryDayAVisitor.Com or Telecharge 212-239-6200.