A first day of rehearsal without deviled eggs is as unthinkable as a Fourth of July without hot dogs. At least that’s the case in the world of Denise Yaney, the production stage manager of The Babylon Line. Her yellow-and-white delicacies have been gracing the meet-and-greet sessions of plays around New York for years, including LCT’s In the Next Room (the vibrator play), on which Yaney worked with Roy Harris, a stage manager who may be the biggest foodie on- or off-Broadway.
While planning her prep for Babylon, however, Yaney ran into trouble. The gas in her apartment building went out – she could not boil the eggs. Being a stage manager, a job description that most definitely involves solving problems without panic, Yaney calmly put out word of her difficulty the day before the play’s first session this week.
Andre Bishop, LCT’s producing artistic director, and Linda Mason Ross, LCT’s director of marketing, answered the call. Ross boiled eggs without incident. At the meet-and-greet, Bishop recounted that he could not say the same. “I began boiling the eggs last night,” Bishop said, “but then I got caught up watching a documentary on PBS about William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal’s TV commentary during the 1968 presidential conventions. The next thing I knew I had boiled the eggs for 20 or 25 minutes.” (He made another batch.)
Vidal, by the way, is mentioned in Greenberg’s play. Buckley is not, although Norman Mailer – another Vidal nemesis and a friend of Buckley – does make an appearance. None of these three writers was known as much of a cook – the type who is so hapless in the kitchen that he literally doesn’t know how to boil water.
Happily, LCT’s senior staff is more skilled.
Brendan Lemon is the editor of lemonwade.com.
Editor's note: here's Denise's recipe.