Woody Allen at the Carlyle


Last year, I took my first trip to New York City. My friend picks me up at LaGuardia and we’re driving into Manhattan and he asks me, “Do you want to go see Woody Allen perform?” I don’t know what he’s talking about; Allen doing stand-up, Allen on a panel, what? He tells me that Allen performs at the Café Carlyle inside The Carlyle Hotel on Monday nights, and he can get us tickets. “I know a guy,” he said.

Woody Allen is one of my heroes. I can recite long passages of dialogue from his movies. I tell him of course I want to go see Woody Allen. So, we get to The Carlyle four hours before the show starts and there’s already a line outside. We get into the Carlyle Café and we have a great table. It’s just a couple of feet away from the corner of the stage.

Allen eventually comes out with his clarinet and his band, the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band. They get a big ovation. My friend and I are in high spirits from doing some vodka shots, so we’re clapping and yelling like crazy when they start playing. Allen’s set last a little over an hour and it’s entertaining as hell; he’s great, the band’s great. When it’s over, the audience gives him and the band a standing ovation.

Allen puts his clarinet away and steps off the stage and starts walking in our direction. He’s nodding and smiling at some people ahead of me as he comes down the line. He’s about to get to me and I’m thinking to myself, “What do I say, what do I say.” He stops in front of me for like a second and there’s like an awkward pause; I’m thinking of something to say to him. All I could think of… I blurted out, “Go Knicks!”

The look of recoil on his face…you would’ve thought I was Mia Farrow standing in front of him with a butcher’s knife and Soon-Yi’s 1991 diary.

I couldn’t say something like “Hannah and Her Sisters and Match Point are masterpieces?” Nope, it was “Go Knicks!”- the only think that popped into my head at the moment. I felt like one of the lobsters he dropped into the boiling water in Annie Hall.

(photo courtesy of Featureflash/Dreamstime.com)