2 PM: The Nerve Center

News   2 PM: The Nerve Center
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When Jeffrey Hillock arrived at his office at 9:40 AM today, he was greeted by the sound of his phone ringing.

"It hasn't stopped since," says the assistant to Steel Pier producer Roger Berlind, who also is gearing up for a second opening this week: The Life on Saturday April 26.

Though six blocks from the comparatively placid Richard Rodgers Theatre, his 30th floor office looking west toward Broadway is the nerve center of organization for tonight's event.

Every 30 seconds or so the fax spits out another sheet, the phone jangles, a messenger pounds on the door. "It ranges from 'What time is it again?' [6:30 PM] to "Is it black tie" [yes] to who's sitting where [both at the opening and at the Tavern on the Green cast party]," he said.

Hillock has lost count of how many openings he's managed in the 10 years he's worked with Berlind. His first was Jerome Robbins Broadway. He says that while Steel Pier Pier has been "a pleasure," it's the first time he's tried to manage two openings in a week -- not counting the office's ongoing production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

As we speak flowers arrive, then a messenger who needed a last-minute OK for an ad, then a note from a well-wisher.

This will keep up until 4:30 when he'll head back to his Manhattan apartment to change into his tux for the 6:30 curtain. He'll watch the show, toast at the cast party, and then, whether Steel Pier is a hit or not, he'll be back in the same office tomorrow.

"And get ready to do it all over again on Saturday night!"

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