Updated: Oct 2
The AMT Team attended the Broadway Association Luncheon at Sardi's this Thursday and it was a treat. Al Tapper and Steven Ditmyer were invited to talk about our beautiful play, Bettinger's Luggage. Acclaimed reporter and host of PIX-11’s Positively America, Ernie Anastos, was their moderator and he did an excellent job asking interesting questions and making all of us feel very welcome and positive. As you must know by now our play features a Jewish family and the trials the father, Lou Bettinger, and son, George Bettinger, go through in their search for belonging and persuing their dreams. Al told us the story of how he met George Bettinger and the beginning of their long friendship, George's story inspired Al so much that he wrote this play and he wanted it produced now because anti-semitism is on the rise and he felt that people needed to see the story of a family, who happens to be Jewish, and their relationships with each other and their neighbours.
The other featured speaker at the luncheon was,Harmony’s Bruce Sussman who wrote the book and lyrics with Barry Manilow and it too is based on a true story. Six remarkably talented young men form a singing group who become international sensations: The Comedian Harmonists. They sell millions of records, star in major motion pictures, and play the biggest theaters around the world. By 1935, they were never heard from again. What happened? That’s the extraordinary true story of HARMONY. A little spoiler - half of the group were Jewish and as we know Europe was on the verge of WWII when they were at the height of their fame. Harmony tells their story.
The Broadway Association did a wonderful job of bringing our two productions together as they are linked by a few common themes, most notably that they are fantastic entertainment! It was fascinating hearing the story of how Harmony was created and I cannot wait to see it.
When I was getting ready to leave and putting on my make up my partner asked why it's called a luncheon, to which I replied: It's just a fancy word for lunch. Which is true, and gosh did we have a fancy time at Sardi's, the food was delicious, the wine was more-ish and the company was lovely. So, thank you to Joan Pelzer, our wonderful Marketing Director for connecting us with Cristyne Nicholas who then invited us to talk about Bettinger's Luggage. We met so many people and cannot wait to forge relationships with them.
One thing this week has taught me is that life is short, so be more like George Bettinger and go for your dreams with everything you have. You may not have long on this earth so reach for the stars, love fully and be kind to everyone.