It's that time again: the moment when I sort through all the conversational exchanges I've jotted down in the lobby - before, during, and after performances of a Lincoln Center Theater production. In this case, "Other Desert Cities" at the Booth. To wit: 

Man Wearing Beret: Do you think there will ever be a movie sequel to "Grease"? Stockard Channing was so good in the original as Rizzo. 

Woman Friend: There was a sequel. "Grease 2." Starring Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer. 

Man: But no Rizzo? 

Woman Friend: No Rizzo. But there was Lorna Luft! 

* * * *

Woman In Fur Coat: It's so cold outside that I'm glad to be here seeing a play set in a warm climate. 

Her Friend: Have you ever been to Palm Springs this time of year? The nights are freezing! 

Woman in Fur Coat: Nonsense. It's never freezing in south Florida. 

Her Friend: The play isn't set in Florida. It's set in California. 

Woman in Fur Coat: Oh. I thought it was odd that they kept talking about the desert. 

* * * * 

Woman In Black Heels: That Judith Light has certainly aged well. She barely looks a day older than when she was in "Who's the Boss?" 

Other Woman: Has she made a deal with the devil? 

Woman in Black Heels: God, no. She's one of the most philanthropic people on the planet. A saint! 

Other Woman: A deal with God, then. 

* * * *

Man in Leather Jacket: What's your favorite Stacy Keach role? 

Other Man: As Mike Hammer, on TV. You? 

Man in Leather Jacket: King Lear. 

Other Man: You're only saying that because we're at the theater. 

Man in Leather Jacket: Oh, no. He KILLED in that part. 

* * * *

Teenager: Mom, the Playbill says that the guy who directed this play also directed "Wicked." 

Mom: That's right. He's very versatile and talented. 

Teenager: Does that mean that there will be a musical version of "Other Desert Cities"?

Mom: Maybe. But they'd have to change the title. 

Teenager: To? 

Mom: "Desire Under The Palms." 

* * * *

Young Woman: Rachel Griffiths is one of my favorite actresses. Is it true that she's Australian? 

Other Young Woman: Yes, that's true. 

Young Woman: How is she able to do American accents so well? 

Other Young Woman: Doing accents is part of an actor's training. Plus, she's played Americans for ten years on television. 

Young Woman: The Australians probably think she's gone over to the enemy now. 

Other Young Woman: The U.S. and Australia have never been enemies. They've always been one of our strongest allies. 

Young Woman: The bond between former English colonies, I guess. 

Other Young Woman: But they're still a colony. 

Young Woman: How so? 

Other Young Woman: The queen's on their money, isn't she? 

Brendan Lemon is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of