I was walking along West 47th Street yesterday afternoon en route to a matinee performance of "August: Osage County" (which was excellent, by the way) when I happened by an odd tableau: a huge iron stage door open to the sidewalk and, there on the pavement, a pile of about fifteen day-glo hot pink flamingos, replete with wispy feathers.
Their essential frivolity stood out from the prosaic, gritty sidewalk scene, but fit into the internal logic of a showbiz neighborhood. A frantic, harried-looking woman was supervising the several stagehands who were picking them up a few at a time and bringing them into the theater.
Speaking of harried people, I had about twenty minutes left in which to run an errand at the Barrymore Theater, find myself a slice of pizza and get into my seat at the Music Box Theater before my show started at 2 p.m. (all missions accomplished, plus the procurement of a Saturday New York Times for crossword purposes, with time to spare; it's the small victories in life), so I didn't even pause to try to figure out what show was using all the flamingos.
All I can do is make an educated guess. The first two candidates off the top of my head are the Boy George memoir "Taboo," which closed years ago, and "South Pacific," which is playing up at Lincoln Center. Do they even have flamingos in the South Pacific?
I'm going to guess "The Little Mermaid." It's playing at the Lunt-Fontanne on the north side of 46th Street, which would be consistent with a backstage door on the south side of 47th. Also, I'm pretty sure they cut the flamingos out of "Hedda Gabler" during previews.
I'd neglected to carry a camera, unfortunate since a snapshot of the flamingo pile would have fit right in this space under the title "This must be Broadway." They say a picture is worth a thousand words; I don't need that many, so if you'll do me the favor of imagining a bunch of stage flamingos piled on a sidewalk, my work is done here.