A line of limos and taxis crawls down West 45th Street toward the Royale Theatre, waiting to pick up the stars, writers and crew of Triumph of Love, as they hug, hoot, slap-five, wiggle into formalwear and come down the alleyway from the stage door.
Twenty blocks north at Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York's Central Park, they autos deliver the exhausted, exhilarated theatre folk to their opening night cast party.
Tavern is used to this. Only a week ago, Side Show was toasting its reviews on the same premises. The partygoers tonight come down a carpeted promenade, and into the front door of a famous eatery, known for its symphony of stained glass windows and for its Christmas-in-October topiary garden festooned with tiny lights and Japanese lanterns -- reminiscent of the one in the musical.
Producer Margo Lion and Susan Birkenhead are among the first to arrive for the French-themed buffet party dinner.
They're followed quickly by Susan Egan and F. Murray Abraham. Abraham said his favorite part of the show is the second act, when he has his funny songs and gets to wear more elegant costumes. "I like it because its humorous -- it's got puns and great lines. It's a much funnier character than I've been playing." Egan, wearing a dress she bought at a downtown Manhattan boutique, said she loves playing so many different characters: "a waif, a seductress, a princess and a boy. The androgynous thing is kind of hip these days."
Murray talked about the fun he has hiding his Oscar (for Amadeus on the stage, "Every once in a while we find it," Egan said.