(Lahr’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 9/18.)

I was 50 in 1992, when during a transatlantic phone call, I told The New Yorker’s new editor, Tina Brown, that I was “hot” to be the magazine’s senior drama critic. “I like the word ‘hot’, ” she said, and hung up.

Until Tina’s call, like all veteran freelancers, I’d bounced around from gig to gig. I’d never had a regular job or a regular pay cheque. I remember, in September of that same year, flying to New York from London, where I live, for a half-hour meeting with Tina. In the end, she had time for only 10 minutes.

I walked away from the building and ambled a few blocks west on 43rd Street to Broadway, which looked the worse for wear in the midday sun. I remember thinking that this was now my patch; I was somehow connected to, and responsible for, the theatrical world, which my father, the comedian Bert Lahr, had dominated decades before.


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