Man About Town

This is a call to arms! Rise up and leave your office before 9:00 p.m. tonight. You’ve got something to attend to. Go home and grab your recent fall-preview issues of New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly … whatever. Slip a neon highlighter into your pocket, go home and figure out how you’re going to have a little fun this year. Autumn’s arrived, and with it comes an opportunity for renewal. Forget about spring—that’s all about reruns. Fall is sooooo much more exciting.

So go, already! Get out of the office and pick something thrilling to do just for fun. I love the name of this column and feel compelled to live up to it. So in the true spirit of Man About Town, I’m gonna challenge you to join me in having a big time.

First step? Take a look at the buffet of amusements out there—all designed to intrigue, entertain and delight you. Yes, you! For once in your life stop trying to reach the target and realize that you are the target. You are the early adopters. The innovators. Trend setters. Etcetera.

You want theater? Great. Buy (at least) a pair of tickets to something right now. A season subscription would be even better. You don’t have to live in New York; there’s plenty of cool stuff going on all over the place. In fact, the most interesting shows are probably a few time zones away from Broadway.

But—fellow New Yorkers, take note—even Broad way is safe again. The mangy Cats has finally left the theater, and it’s possible to plan a theater date without being ashamed. Personally, I’m all riled up about Seussical, the Musical. (You might take that with a grain of salt, however, because I’m the supposedly groovy New Yorker who burst into tears more than once last year at You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.)

The best thing about Theater with a capital T is that it’s live. But if musical comedy or drama makes you nauseous, there are plenty of other options. Like dance. I’d bet my last buck that there will be an amazing dance performance by someone or other in almost every major city in America this year. (One of the most mind-blowing things I’ve seen in the past few years was the opening-night performance of Swan Lake in Los Angeles. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it had been directed by Quentin Tarantino—with costumes by Giorgio Armani. I wrecked my hands and voice for days from all my overzealous clapping and screaming.)

But if all that’s too arty-farty … fine. Check out the flyers or signage at your local record store and stop thinking you’re “too old” to go to concerts any more.

Think about yourself for a moment. We’re all supposed to be communications experts. But too often, we’re so consumed with work we miss out on the very things that would help us do our jobs infinitely better. How many of us have, for example, refused an exciting invitation with the tired refrain, “Oh no! I can’t! I’m swamped!”

So we miss things. Which means that we often miss the point. We catch movies on planes or, at best, pay-per-view because we get home too late to try to see them in their first run. Theater? Museums? Opera? Concerts? Are you kidding? Those require advance booking, which is an extremely foreign concept to most of us.

Well, I’m going to put my stake in the ground and plan my fun for a change. I live in New York, and there’s a helluva lot out there for me. And I’m going to take full advantage of it. What’s more, I’m going to make plans and … and … and, well, I’m going to keep those plans!

I’m going to pore over these fall-preview magazines and go ahead and take the plunge. Plan in advance! Purchase tickets and mark the dates in my calendar! Invite friends to join me and look forward to—at the very least—spending a few enjoyable evenings with people I like. Period.

Whew! That felt great. Now all I need is for midnight to roll around so I can rush across the street to the Virgin Megastore and be one of the first to buy the new Madonna album … I feel so … so … Man About Town!

How ’bout you?