The Whingers have had a funny old day.
Such is the paucity of newsworthy stuff going on around the Broadway, the Whingers found themselves invited to appear with critic Mark Shenton on the PBS TV show Theater (sic) Talk hosted by the New York Post’s acerbic columnist Michael Riedel (rhymes with needle it turns out) and the show’s producer Susan Haskins.
Recorded this afternoon for transmission on Channel 13 at some vague point in the future Shenton and the Whingers were asked for their views on London and Broadway theatre although all the really wanted to know from us was who came up with the “Paint Never Dries” gag. Andrew fingered Phil (figuratively obviously) just in case Andrew Lloyd Webber should accidentally tune in.
Having concluded from previous experiences that the medium of television is not our metier we were dreading the whole thing somewhat. And as it was all taking place at 1pm it seemed indecorously early for Dutch courage.
But once Phil discovered that it was the full TV experience with make-up (courtesy of Rose who told Phil he had wonderful skin and Andrew that the weather was nice for the time of year) and everything he perked up and once the chat got going even Andrew began to relax.
We enjoyed every minute of it and we don’t care if most of it ends up on the cutting room floor – in fact that would be preferable as then we won’t have to confront the cold realities of our performances. At the moment we are happy to imagine that we were chat show naturals – Arthur Marshall, Beryl Reid and Kenneth Williams all rolled into one.
But Phil’s mother always told him that his mouth would get him into trouble and so it proved to be.
There we were in the Green Room being introduced to fellow Theater (sic) Talk guest Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong who was there to promote the new Broadway musical (currently in previews ) based on their apparently iconic rock album American Idiot (of course we’d never heard of it). With him were the show’s director Michael (Spring Awakening) Mayer and the show’s press representative Michael Hartman of The Hartman Group.
The Whingers had one theatre window to fill for this Friday evening and Hartman offered the Whingers tickets for the evening’s performance of American Idiot.
But for some reason Phil (who was actually quite curious to see the show) decided that honesty would be the best policy.
“It’s not really our kind of music,” he said airily to the startled Billie Joe and suddenly the air turned a little cooler and within seconds the Billie Joe contingent had left the building and Phil was being offered tickets for Memphis instead.
Shenton, Haskins and Riedel all looked quite astonished at Phil’s lack of hypocrisy. It seems that New York’s show-business elite isn’t yet ready for the West End Whingers’ “say what you see” approach to the world.