Thanksgiving 1998

Today's column was supposed to be called "Rigby - High Flying & Adored" and I began to work on it when I noticed on my desk a scrap of paper with the phone number for American Airlines. Is it Thanksgiving already? I called the airlines and sure enough Arlene would arrive in 30 minutes. So much for Rigby until Sunday.

While driving to the airport I thought about how I met Arlene. Was it through being a Theater Guild member? Well, that, but the root of the friendship and many other friendships that I have made in the last few years can be traced to Talkin' Broadway and cyberspace. And today, Thanksgiving, I have much to be thankful for.

Talkin' Broadway started about two years ago with just one e-mail. Me, with the ideas for a web magazine, and an e-mail from graphic designer, Mark Bakalor. And then it began, an endless series of e-mails to produce this website. I hadn't met Mark in person as I have not met, even to this day, many of the people who now help produce this website. Our friendships grew in cyberspace and today, I would like to thank those people.

Melinda Hesbacher helped us out with her on-the-scene reports from the aisle from the very beginning and it was a special privilege to attend her graduation this past June. I met Melinda on the old Tony Forum and we've had a very special friendship since.

In that first year we signed Ed Feldman on to do interviews in our Spotlight On section and Joseph Molnar to write Sound Advice. To this day, both are still busy with their next assignments. And then, of course, there is La Belle Dame, Christina D'Angelo, who began writing her infamous Christina's World column.

Then in January of this past year many of the staff and forum friends decided to meet in New York for Phantom's 10 celebration. Carolyn Weaver helped organize a party at Barrymore's where we got to meet staff members for the first time in person and about 40 or so cyberfriends who posted regularly on All That Chat. Talkin' Broadway was becoming a family.

Since then the family has gotten much bigger, and yes, through e-mail. Alex J. Bayley writes from London his What's New On The West End? column, M.J. Boyer and Marilyn Hansen cover the dining circuit in the Broadway theater district in Restaurant Revue, Robert Rusie continues to write Broadway 101, an historical account of Broadway decade by decade, Farin Schlussel updates our On The Boards section, and Wendy Guida joins us with our newest columns with news, reviews and interviews from Off Broadway. A favorite guest Rialto author is Jill Hobgood.

And the list goes on with our Regional Reporters: Harper Strom (Atlanta), Patti Murphy (Baltimore), Staci (Chicago), Jerry Howard (Los Angeles), Michael H. Fromme (Raleigh), Reed Brown and Richard Connema (San Francisco), Jonathan Frank (Seattle), and Antonio Tan (Toronto). To all of them I wish to express thanks on this holiday as they have given me much to be thankful for.

As you can see the family has gotten quite large and will get bigger as we meet more theatre fans in cyberspace and develop new areas of Talkin' Broadway. I used to organize everything around here, but one day, I thought, "I simply cannot do it a-lone." And through countless, and I do mean countless, e-mails to Michael T. Reynolds (Broadway Bound) and Ann Miner, our resident Web Master and Graphic Designer they help me steer this ship called Talkin' Broadway. A very special thanks to them on this day.

Most importantly, it's you the reader we wish to send our Holiday Greetings to throughout this big and wonderful cyberworld. Talkin' Broadway may be about the theatre, but it's also about friendships.

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