NYC Theater’s Talk-Back Series & Speakeasy


I’ve seen the films Knocked up, I Love You Man, My Idiot Brother… and am crazy about the ever charming Paul Rudd.  So a chance to see him act live on Broadway was fantastic.

Recently, I bought two tickets to the limited performance of the play “Grace” at the Court Theater in NYC.  But wait, not only was Paul in the play, but also the delightful Ed Asner.  Who? you ask.  Yes, the 80 something year old actor, (Think:  The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant) is still alive and kicking and gave a brief yet amazing performance.

I leave the kiddies with a sitter and take the midtown-direct train to Penn Station, NYC.  No need to take a cab, either take the subway or  a cycle-jitney to Delfresco’s (49th&6th).  With it’s great happy hour vibe and delicious apps, the place really makes one forget about the hectic day.   After  pre-theater cocktails and apps,  I head over to see the play and realize it happens to be a “Talk-Back Series” day, which means the cast stays after for a Q&A.  Lucky me!  Note to self:  Many theaters offer “Talk-Back” days to help promote their productions.

After the Q&A, walk towards the restaurant Joe Allen’s (46th between 8th & 9th Ave).  But wait, don’t go into Joe Allen’s, instead, look left and walk up the stairs into the Brownstone next door.  This is Joe’s unadvertised restaurant/bar (known to regulars as Bar Centrale, 324 W46th) named after a bar in the small village of San Caciano de Bagni in Tuscany, Italy where Joe owns a vacation home.  Bar Centrale is a Speakeasy like refuge for Broadway actors and theater lovers for late night libations.   As you walk into this oasis, the one and only Mary H., the manager for the last 15 years, greets you immediately.  The place is the size of a small living room with a fully stocked bar.  Bar Centrale offers an amazing menu including the best guacamole in town.  On any given night, after the shows are over, you could be having drinks with theater actors, directors and playwrights.    An intimate way to end an evening in a small tucked away Speakeasy.