(Dave Itzkoff’s article appeared in the New York Times, 12/31; via Pam Green.)

“The price of poker just went up, boys,” Tony Danza declared as he tossed $10 worth of chips into the center of a dining table, where a modest but growing pot sat beside a plate of peppers and anchovies. The financial stakes were low, but the game held an important social value to this 63-year-old Brooklyn-born actor and one-man welcoming committee.

He would soon have to decamp for that night’s performance of the Broadway musical “Honeymoon in Vegas,” in which he plays a starring role, and he has lately been feeling the pinch that an eight-show week can put on one’s personal calendar.

“People start going, ‘Ah, he’s busy,’ ” said Mr. Danza, who wore a close-cropped haircut, a striped black suit and a perpetual grin. “You don’t hear from as many people, and then you feel guilty.”


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