MrB and I went to a preview of the musical Leap of Faith on Broadway last week. The play is based on a 1992 movie, starring Steve Martin, about a con artist posing as a faith healer. In the play, the sex-ay Raúl Esparza plays phony preacher Jonas Nightingale, who travels from town to town with a gospel choir. At each stop, the group pitches a tent, holds a flashy revival and fakes a miracle. The congregation shows its appreciation with a flurry of donations. When Nightingale’s bus breaks down outside the drought-stricken town of Sweetwater, Kan., Jonas prepares to steal the locals’ last few nickels. Town sheriff Marla McGowan, played by Jessica Phillips, is determined to stop him.
Leap of Faith was originally performed in Los Angeles in 2010 to unenthusiastic reviews. The play was then substantially rewritten. (For instance, Sheriff Marla was originally a waitress named Marva.) The Broadway dialogue and song lyrics aren’t particularly dazzling, and the plot is predictable, but the charismatic cast is beyond reproach. Their great voices, dancing, and snappy delivery are well worth a ticket (unlike the very wan Broadway revival of Evita starring Ricky Martin as Che that I also saw this month).
The best-costumed of the night was definitely Raúl Esparza, who wears the hell out of a pair of black leather pants. I was coveting his Lady Gaga-esque mirror jacket until I read that it weighs 20 pounds and is trying to inflict death by a thousand cuts upon him.
I was dressed more comfortably.
I was hoping to get a good shot of Stacy’s dress, but the theater-district sidewalk crowds were challenging and I was too exhausted to do much posing. The last time I posted the vintage coat on the blog, it was in a photo from an event where I got woozy. But, normally, I feel very good in this coat. One time, when I wore it with a little black dress, a woman on the street said, “Look at you! You’re so happy in your chic coat and dress.” Ha! I bought the coat at the Upper West Side consignment/vintage store Allan & Suzi; I got my one-shouldered gold gown there many years later. The first time I went to Allan & Suzi, I heard the owners — yes, they are Allan and Suzi — sassing each other. I was so entertained, I wound up writing a little story about them for the Wall Street Journal in 1995. I have the clip, of course. Newspaper clips and coats from the early ’90s — I keep it all. It’s a miracle I haven’t been on Hoarders yet.
I still use that line of Suzi’s all the time. When someone asks me where they’ll wear a big piece of jewelry, or a dramatic dress, or a pair of eye-catching shoes, I say, “To the supermarket!” Hey, you only live once!