NYC LIFE INSIDERS GUIDE: Broadway Reopens; Fashion at the Met, Cabaret, Streaming

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NYC is back! What a great week with the return of the Met Ball and The Great White Way open again. Valerie Smaldone shares what it was like to be at Wicked earlier this week. Ellen Easton shares photos from her sneak peak of the MET’s new fashion exhibit. Live performances are everywhere, and we’ve got a few to add to your calendar. But with all due prejudice, the hottest show this fall is Tomatoes Got Talent. Our roving photographer takes us to Ray’s Candy Store in Alphabet City. And our Broadway Babe has some fun free streaming picks.

The Hottest Show in Town

We have 11 fabulously talented tomatoes who will vie for this year’s winner of Tomatoes Got Talent.

Wicked Triumphantly Returns to Broadway


This week there was a big roar that could be heard echoing throughout the storied streets of the theatre district. Broadway is back and several shows opened to jammed houses, and a deafening noise. Valerie Smaldone was in the audience of Wicked on Tuesday evening, and the moment the PA announcer said, “Welcome!” people were on their feet, screaming, cheering and some were even crying. Read  more.

 At the MET: In America – A Lexicon of Fashion


Following on the heels of MET Gala, the Costume Institute opened their new fashion exhibit. Ellen Easton got a sneak preview that represents some of the giants of American fashion: Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Halston, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren. Read more.

Fabulous Shows at Pangea

The East Village hot spot Pangea is host to some fabulous shows coming up. Several feature friends of ours, including Sidney Myer (Nov. 8 & 15), Tulis McCall, with guest Betsyann Faiella (Oct. 3), and Kati Neiheisel, a 2018 Tomatoes Got Talent alum (Oct. 15).

For reservations online (required) visit , or for info call 212/995-0900. Pangea is located at 178 Second Avenue (between 11th & 12th Streets).

Sept. 25. Arts and Eats

Our friend Nicole Gut is happy to produce Arts & Eats, a Variety Show, to get the Arts back on their feet and to give Artists a chance to perform again. The show will take place at the French restaurant, Le Rivage, located on Restaurant Row, 340 W. 46th St., NYC.

Le Rivage’s menu and ambiance work well with the Producer’s vision of a ‘Cabaret’ style event. Menu items will be a lovely assortment of French savory and sweet delicacies. The drink selection includes mimosas, bellinis, beer, wine or an LR Signature Cocktail. Get details and tickets.

Now Streaming: Camelot, Sondheim, Petula Clark

The Broadway Babe has unearthed more free streaming goodies this week. There’s Barbara Cook performing Sondheim at Carnegie Hall; Camelot with the New York Philharmonic; a Petula Clark documentary; and for a little nostaglia, classic TV commercials from the ’50s and ’60s. Read  More.

The Fabulous Bernadette Peters

Don’t miss Tony and Golden Globe Winner, Emmy and Grammy nominee, Bernadette Peters as she joins Host Tony award-winning Brian Stokes Mitchell on Crossovers LIVE! an innovative live streaming talk show. Make sure the watch the pre-show which is sponsored by Gayle Martz founder of the SHERPA Bag. Get details and tickets here.

 Ray’s Candy Store

Our roving photographer Nicole Freezer Rubens (author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath) takes us to Ray’s Candy Store in Alphabet City in the East Village. It’s a tiny deli with a huge menu offering simple but delicious egg creams, Belgian fries, fried Oreos and ice cream. It has become a local institution since it opened in 1974.

The best part of the store is Ray Alvarez, born in Iran in 1933. In 1964 he literally jumped from his Iranian naval ship and swam to the American shores of Florida. He worked as a dishwasher and a decade later had saved enough money to buy his own store. He changed his name from Asghar to Ray to match his new marquis. He feared his illegal immigrant status and finally became a US citizen at the age of 78.

Ray and Ray’s are neighborhood favorites and are very much beloved for their embodiment of the American dream.


Nicole finally checked Ray’s ice cream off her list. Ray soft-served her himself and her heart and cone were overflowing with deliciousness.

 Read an excerpt of the latest novel by the head tomato.


  • Cheryl Benton

    The tomato behind The Three Tomatoes. Cheryl Benton, aka the “head tomato” is founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes, a digital lifestyle magazine for “women who aren’t kids”. Having lived and worked for many years in New York City, the land of size zero twenty-somethings, she was truly starting to feel like an invisible woman. She created The Three Tomatoes just for the fun of it as the antidote for invisibility and sent it to 60 friends. Today she has thousands of friends and is chief cheerleader for smart, savvy women who want to live their lives fully at every age and every stage. She is the author of the novel, "Can You See Us Now?" and co-author of a humorous books of quips, "Martini Wisdom." Because she's lived a long time, her full bio won't fit here. If you want the "blah, blah, blah", read more.

1 Response

  1. This is a great fresh new reveal from the three tomatoes . I feel the sane way about NYC. It’s definitely a cautious and resolute return . I never heard of those fabulously premade fries from an Iranian kitchen . And to see Sydney up among others performing is wonderful . Those who always give back keep giving back , don’t they ? Wicked gets better and better and who knew about this new Camelot ? And it is on the heels of that fabulous Bay Street production.

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