Last night we all lost an extraordinary light.
I’m not going to pretend to be the most political person I know, but knowing she was on our side has been knowledge I’ve come back to again and again as the world continues to crumble and the divide of our nation continues to widen.
Here’s the story of how I once ended up in the same room as Justice Ginsburg.
Because this is the internet, I’ll leave out names, but I was working as the Personal Assistant to someone deeply involved with the recent Off-Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof done completely in Yiddish (having transferred after a 6 week turned 6 month run at the New York Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park). As soon as it was confirmed that she would be coming, my client graciously invited me to be there.
I had just come back from Chicago the night before and was exhausted! I wasn’t completely convinced that my brain could manage a 3 hour musical (in Yiddish no less!) but I knew better than to give that thought any more energy.
She comes in JUST as the lights are dimming and sits down.
Two rows in front of us (secret service being the buffer). Oh, and Kate McKinnon was in front of her.
The first thing I noticed was that when she sat down you couldn’t see her above her seat. She disappeared. Granted, this theatre had seats with higher backs than most, but nonetheless it made me giggle.
The audience wasn’t fully aware of her presence until she came back into the theatre at the end of intermission and received an immediate standing ovation as she graciously made her way from House Right to House Left.
After the curtain call, Joel Grey walked out onto the stage and invited her up. She didn’t speak but what was so clear to me was that she enjoyed the show. She was feeling what we all feel after seeing a show we love.
I got to witness Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg enjoy a 3 hour musical. What a privilege.
Photo by Ron Edmonds/Associated Press, 2005.