Remember what it was like to go to a closing night cast party? When it gets really late and the booze is almost gone and the coke is certainly gone but no one’s tired and no one’s ready to go home? And then around three a.m. what’s left of the chorus crowds around the piano and sings songs like “I Enjoy Being a Girl” and “A Boy Like That” with cheesy accents—not to mention they’re all guys? Well, imagine my surprise to find Lin-Manuel Miranda and Raul Esparza re-enact what I thought was just a bourbon-induced hallucination of my early womanhood.
Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center on 63rd and Broadway. This was the scene outside my workplace window every night..
“Country Gardens” is one of the few piano pieces I could play all the way through (clumsily, not like the fine player in this clip) so I have a special affection for Grainger’s arrangements and compositions, as well as an admiration for his drive to create a truly “English” school of music. (The drive, not the goal.) I also liked that he married his wife at the Hollywood Bowl after conducting a concert there in 1928.
But ever since music school I’ve also known about Grainger’s unusual sexual drive—his taste for Nordic blondes and being flagellated—plus the fact that in his twenties he was kept as a semi-willing love slave by a fortyish society dame (shades of Joan Crawford!)—and I can’t deny it: The fantasy of pleasuring, of possessing a boy like this, talented and handsome, is delicious.