After a year-long celebration of his 80th birthday in which he was multi-honored — but continued non-stop working — Tony Bennett tells me he’s now going to take "a couple of months off from music — and just paint. But,"he laughingly added, "I hope when I’m 100, I’ll still be performing — but only if I sing well. If I start to warble, I’ll just paint!"
He’s completing a painting depicting Times Square in the rain and donating it to The Zimmer Children’s Museum on L.A’.s "Museum Row" on Wilshire Blvd. The painting will be auctioned at a gala on May 7th to benefit the museum’s "youThink" arts education program. "My daughters used to love to go there." Bennett recalls. Arts Education is a cause close to Tony’s heart and he and his wife Susan established Exploring the Arts which funds and supports arts education in public schools.
And talking of 80th birthdays, Larry Gelbart (his is on Feb. 25) is completing his newest play, "Better Late," written with Craig Wright (creator of ABC’s "Dirty, Sexy Money"). A snow storm delayed Gelbart’s flight to Chicago and rehearsals in preparation for the cast’s first reading, March 4, readying for its April 9 bow in Skokie’s Northlight Theater. John Mahoney and Mike Nussbaum are so far set for the comedy which is hopefully bound for a B’way welcome.