Newsday from New York, New York on October 13, 1987 · 128
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Newsday from New York, New York · 128

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New York, New York
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Tuesday, October 13, 1987
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128
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aMIBff-.."--.. ,4 ( wW -Wt--yW -W'-W rV'WKwl-'!. ,: Vf- .lr WWl-'' ' W-V, Vv Vr' IW'I' ' H I 4 v I 4 jfr irv ' J ( milestones By Jonathan Mandell JACK KLUGMAN looke uncomfortable. "For this youre view me?" Hie lips turn old man in Tm Not Bai looks out at the view. His He is in the Marriott Marquis Hotel, with half a dozen other stars of current Broadway hits, in what the assistant editor of Meetings and Conventions Magarine has just called the "finest assemblage of celebrities ever for a hotel flmction." That doesnt help Klugman, who is once again at odds with his did "Odd Couple roommate. He knows Tony Randall would never be . caught dead in this place. Micheal Fulton, the hotels official millionth guest, is not embarrassed, not at all. How could he be? Hie is 38 yens old, from Lawrenceburg, InxL which is "right next to Cincinnati, Ohio, he explains a Midwesterner for whom adjectives like slight and wholesome and red-cheeked and cheery are not at all offensive. -He has been to New York City only six times before, all an short business trips. And yet here he is, in a scene updated from "All About Eve, holding a champagne glass in a $3,500-a-night duplex penthouse hotel suite complete with Jacuzzi, grand piano, a billiards table overseen by a world champion and a room full of! Broadway crooners, who serenade Fulton with their favorite songs. Nearby, a dolphin, carved from a block of ice, bursts out of a frozen sea and offers Beluga caviar from a little silver tin on its snout. Arthur Rubin sings "Memories. The crowd shouts "More. More. It is the only encore requested. The crowd is mostly actors arid actresses; Rubin is mostly the vice president of the Ne-derlander Organization. He follows with "Danny Boy. Daniel Antonovich, star of his own commercials, knocks a glass full of wine off the elegant glass table with one of his company's floor-length fur coats, which he presents to 'Fulton, malting him try it on in front of the guests. What kind of fur is that, Antonovich is asked afterward. "I dont know, he says gruffly. This all began for Micheal Fulton when he innocently walked up to the hotel registration and signed his name. "All of a sudden the lights went flashing, all the hotel executives came out. Im a banker, I thought My God, I tripped the alarm system. He was inataad, the millionth guest, a designation that the management of tiie Marquis swears is accurate, although one executive did admit to a little research: "We didnt want to embarrass someone who was bringing his -secretary for the weekend." This was just the latest promotion for Marriott Marquis, a mammoth Times Square hotel 48 stories, 1,877 rooms that has been working extravagantly in the two years of its existence to ingratiate itself with New Yorkers, particularly those who work The Great White Way. Results have been mixed. "Among theater people, its called the Penitentiary, says a Broadway star, partaking of the hotels escargot en croute. "Have you seen it from the outside? Dont use my name. Just a few years ago, some of these 1 very actors and actresses got arrested,. trying to stop this hotel from being Michael Pulton, the Indiana bank president who became the Marriott Marquis one millionth visitor, meets modal Chalice, right Michael Maguire of Las Miserablea, left, was among celebrities at the promotion. The Boast of Broadway The Marriott Marquis,' the mammoth Times Square hotel that replaced three former theaters, is trying to ingratiate itself with New Yorkers, but the results have been mixed ' built, in order to save the bulldozing of three fine old theaters, the Helen Hayes, the Bjou and the Morosco. In their place has gone up a structure whose exterior could hold its own against anything in Dallas, whose tor terior resembles the set where Luke Skywalker battled Darth Vader. The Marriott Marquis is the kind of place that opens its new Broadway theater with what critics called a Las Vegas-like revue, the kind of place that greets all passers-by with something officially known as Kodarama, a screen 30 feet high by 60 feet wide with a 35-millimeter transparency magnified 520 times, which changes messages every six weeks. On the week of the millionth guest promotion, there is shat looks like an enormous prom couple doing up the town. A few months ago, there were the words: "Marriott. Marquis Broadway Lounge. Overlook the excitement of Broadway. THERE IS indeed, aome might say, no better way to overlook the excitement of Broadway than to enter the Marriott Marquis, where names like ONeill, Odets, even Brecht, are placed on meeting rooms used for dropping mall planners and disease fund-raisers, for Jeopardys Teen Contestant Search and the NFL draft pick. "They even misspelled Ziegfeld, says producer Morton Gottlieb. One million guests have entered this hotel, but a handfiil of Broadway performers still boycott it, and others accept the invitations, but feel funny about it. VrTd gather have, the Morpeco Theater, says : Klugman, uncomfortable at being part of a Marriott promotion. "Uniat do I do? I would rather these hotels would not be built. I was here when they were tearing down the Morosco. I have two bricks I saved. Ill never forget. I dont know who to get angry with. Theyve been very nice to me here. Nothing can take the place of the Morosco Theater. That was my favorite. Just then, Jean Balukas, the female pool Awnplnn, introduces herself "You were the champ on a Twilight Zone, she says to him, "so Tm going to have to challenge you. "Ugh, he says. "Ive got a bad back. A pinched nerve. "I was one of the ones who fought it, says Carole Shelley, star of the touring company of "Broadway Bound. "Not because I don't want a Marriott, die says quickly. "Its a beautiful hotel: I think its more beautiful inside than outside, she says diplomatically. "I just wish they put it somewhere else. She corrects herself: "They had put it somewhere else. These are not attitudes that please the management of the Marriott Mar-quia "Theater is our primary product, says Thomas D. Reese, general manager, apparently manning that hotel guests like to go to shows. "Our object is to re-establish our relationship with the theater community, he says, talking under a wall full of framed sketches of the ruins of the Roman Empire. "It just takes time to heal these old wounds. Not everybody is bitter Helen Hayes the actress has appeared atv events to the hotel that replaced He- - len Hayes the theater. If Helen Hayes herself could appear here, some theater people must reason, why cant they? Others simply dont see the files. "The theater is only as good as whatever! playing to it, says Lee Roy Reams, who starred in "42nd Street. "No one was using those theaters. All the stars who protested, why didnt they put a disco to one of than. They didn't The area around it was always dark, always unclean, there were always undesirables around. Now, Kaama says, "the area is safer. Weve brought a lot more people into the theater. ' He says, though, that there is some displeasure over the Marquis Theater, currently showing "Me and My GirL "Those theaters weren't being used as efficiently as they could have been, says Michael Maguire of "Les Misera-bles. "The property will be able to renovate the rest of the area: Thats the rainbow behind the clouds. "The hotel is really the beginning, says Jon Ehrlich, who was to "Big River, sounding not at all like Huckleberry Finn. "This whole area is going to be very valuable. You get the sense the rents are really going to skyrocket. If this were Paris or London, itd be much more tragic to lose an old building. But nothing heres that old. In New York, the charm is that theres no rhyme or reason. Its all use and practical need. That said, he takes his crystal apple, presented by the hotel to a red box, travels the glass elevator down 40 stories and walks along a Broadway with whole blocks demolished, li make room for as' many as 18 new skyscrapers, n NEWSDAY, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1987 NY Part 113

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