So maybe a square dance isn’t the way most New Yorkers spend their Monday nights. But when the call went out for the 1st Annual Second Stage Square Dance in the Big Apple last week, there was no shortage of Western wannabes lining the dance floor.
Jane Alexander and Sam Waterston do-si-doed. Comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara swung their partners right and left. And Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick gazed soulfully into each other’s eyes as they slow-danced between calls.
“I feel like I’m Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole Opry,” giggled event coordinator Robyn Goodman, an artistic director with Second Stage, a well-respected off-Broadway theater company. “And to think several of my board members thought New Yorkers were too sophisticated for something as hokey as a square dance.”
About 350 people paid $200 a ticket to try their feet on the routines of caller Pat Cannon’s Foot and Fiddle Company. The dance, held at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, raised about $75,000, which will go to support the four plays Second Stage produces each year. “The first job I ever got in this profession was at Second Stage,” said thirtysomething’s Polly Draper. “So this is kind of like payback time.”
For those too shy to hit the dance floor, the evening also included several rounds of bingo, with prizes ranging from movie passes to free decorating advice. “We’ve thrown a lot of parties,” said Goodman. “But this was one of the best.”