Lia looked at me square in the eye and issued an order. ”You are going to say YES.  Y–E–S.”

Tim and I were in New York for the 2013 Drama Desk Awards and to cheer on Joel de la Fuente, who had been nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance for HOLD THESE TRUTHS.  We were all thrilled for Joel, who had to check into the event early, and Tim and I were sharing a preshow dinner with LIa Chang, who would photograph the evening.

During our dinner, my phone rang.  It was Joel.  He was inviting me to join him  on the red carpet.  He just had to okay that with someone on the press line and that he’d call me back to confirm.  And I laughed and said, “Oh gosh, how sweet of you Joel, but this is YOUR nomination, after all, and I really don’t think that I—“

“Gotta run. Call you back in a few!”  Joel hung up.

Lia and Tim looked at me with excitement. “That was Joel?!  What did he want?!”

I told them about Joel’s invitation. 

“You’re going to do it of course!”  Lia said.

“Oh gosh, guys, I don’t know.  This is Joel’s nomination, after all-–“

“Honey, you wrote the play he’s nominated for!” Tim said. 

Lia fixed me with that piercing gaze I can never say no to.  “You are going to say YES.  Y-E-S.”  And the she shouted,  “Because I’m  going to take photos of you and Joel on the red carpet!”

So I said yes.  And I had the time of my life.  Taking photos with Joel, and watching him do interviews, and feeling so proud.  Meeting and mingling with so many NYC theatre stars and luminaries. Laughing at Lia, who was gleefully darting in and out of the crowd like a hummingbird, snapping dozens of photos; and at Tim, who was valiantly struggling to  hold all our umbrellas.

Later, at the reception, we celebrated with Joel’s lovely wife Melissa and his two brothers.  And Lia presented me with an album of the entire evening, including these favorite photos below.

I’m so glad I listened to you, Lia and Tim!

And I’ll always be grateful for your lovely and gracious invitation, Joel!