by Debbie Tuma
We’ve read her sexy column and books, we’ve seen her sexy hit TV series, and now we’ve seen her live in a hilarious one-woman show at The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. It was the sex symbol herself—Candace Bushnell, giving us women (and men) all her tips and advice on relationships, work, friends, and how to survive as a single woman (anywhere), but mostly in the jungle of Manhattan!
There she was, blonde, thin, and wearing (what else?) a short designer leopard dress and RED high heels. The scene was supposed to be in her apartment, complete with all her favorite designer shoes tossed all around the living room….from black and hot pink boots, to purple high heels, supposedly from her favorite designer, Manolo Blahnik. Admitting she is ‘obsessed with shoes,’ she added that she has more than 20 pairs, “but less than Imelda Demarco.” There was also a big comfy couch from which she lied around and sipped Cosmopolitans, from her nearby bar. From time to time the phone would ring and she would pick it up to chat with her girlfriends.
This could have been a scene from her award-winning sitcom, “Sex and the City,”created by Darren Star, based on her book, “Sex and the City,” derived from her gossip columns in the New York Observer. And now, tonight at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, she was bringing us her new show, aptly called, “Is there Still Sex in the City?”
Throughout the show, Bushnell tells us the story of her own life, from which she invented the “Sex and the City” character of Carrie Bradshaw. In third grade, she suddenly knew she wanted to be a famous writer, and all her life she pursued that dream, going as far as she could.
A self-proclaimed feminist, Bushnell said tongue and cheek, that she learned early on, “There were only four jobs for a woman—nurse, teacher, secretary and librarian.” And she didn’t want to be any of them. When she moved to New York City, in 1979, she started going to Studio 54, and enjoyed all the New York City nightlife of the young singles scene.
“I used to meet with my girlfriends, we’d talk about our lives, and I took notes,” she said. “This became my column, then a book, and then a TV show.” She modeled Carrie Bradshaw after herself, and then there was Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, all young single women in Manhattan. In her show, Bushnell also revealed that there was even a “Mr. Big” in her life, similar to the one in “Sex and the City.”
But she also said she learned that “Men like ‘Big’ will come and go, but your girlfriends will always be there for you.”
Throughout her July, one-night show, Bushnell explained many different lessons she’s learned in her life. Lesson Number One—when it comes to men, if you don’t do it, someone else will. Lesson Number Two—Men Lie. Lesson Number 5—When it comes to sex, there is no free lunch. Lesson Number 8—Other people’s marriages are not as good as you think they are.
She also talked about the different eras in her life…in the 80’s she tried to be what a man wants, in the 90’s her mind was on 3 things—sex, success and shoes, and after being in and out of relationships, she got married for ten years, and is now divorced and living in the Hamptons, Manhattan, and Connecticut. She said “Shopping in the Hamptons is like going to a casino. You never know how much you can lose.”
She has written three more books, “Four Blondes,” “Trading Up,” and “Lipstick Jungle,” which are all earning accolades.
Heather Draskin, Communications Manager of The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, said she also loved this performance, and that she looks forward to more great shows in August, when this theater welcomes Michael Feinstein on August 6, The Village People on August 19, and Broadway Stars Jeremy Jordan on August 20, and Norm Lewis, who played Phantom of the Opera, on August 26.
For information on these shows, call the box office at 631-288-1500 or visit www.whbpac.org