by Adam Cohen . . .
Candace Bushnell strides onto the stage of Café Carlyle armed with panache, wit, and brio. Bushnell spins urban tales of female sexual liberation, friendship, marriage, shoes, fashion, and real estate which grew from her mid-’90s column for The New York Observer into an enduring media franchise.
Inspired by her most recent book, Is There Still Sex in the City? charts Bushnell’s progress from a rising young writer making questionable relationship choices to a divorcée taking refuge in Sag Harbor.
The show is a peppy life story, rendered with frank multi-media bon mots. It’s an engaging opportunity to see the real stories of Bushnell and friends come to life from the woman who lived them.
A screen hanging over the stage showcases articles by and about Bushnell, along with clips from Sex and the City and numbered lessons that include pearls of wisdom such as “Men lie,” “People in relationships only see what they want to see” and You can’t rely on a relationship for your happiness or a roof over your head.”
Bushnell identifies as a feminist, recognizing this since being in kindergarten when someone told her that a woman can only be a “nurse, secretary, teacher or librarian and she can’t have her own bank account or credit card.” From third grade, she knew she’d be a writer. She climbed off the bus to Manhattan in a Loehmann’s outfit picked out by her mother, hoping to write her way to a Pulitzer.
Bushnell delivers her stories in a pithy fun matter-of-fact manner. She quickly establishes a rapport with the audience who all root for her enthusiastically. This is an expose into the behind the scenes of a writer who inspired a television producer to craft indelible characters.
And in the Carlyle, steps from her home in Madison World on the east side, she navigates the land of face cream, in the same building where Dorothy Parker resided. A fun evening that services the wants of fans old and new alike. Her openness is notable, relishing tales of the city and its denizens as rendered by an observer with much left to recount.
Bushnell plays May 10-14 and May 18-19. Tickets and more information at https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/the-carlyle-new-york/experiences/cafe-carlyle
Photos: David Andrako