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Jackie Hoffman Stars in ‘On the Town’ Revival

Leonard Bernstein’s classic 1944 musical returns to the Great White Way

Morton Landowne
October 03, 2014
Cast of 'On the Town.' (
Cast of 'On the Town.' (

It’s Leonard Bernstein time, again (but really, when is it not?). The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will soon feature a Bernstein & Beethoven program, this week Yale’s Jewish Lives Series published Leonard Bernstein, An American Musician by Allen Shawn, and on Broadway, previews have begun for the revival of Bernstein’s classic 1944 musical, On The Town.

The revival of On the Town is of special interest because one of its stars is long-time Friend-of-Tablet Jackie Hoffman.

Hoffman plays multiple scene-stealing roles in the show, including the tipsy vocal teacher, Madame Dilly, and two lounge singers, Diana Dream and Delores Delores, in perhaps the best opportunity she has had to demonstrate her comedic range to Broadway audiences, after smaller roles in Hairspray, Xanadu and The Addams Family. Hoffman is also a dedicated tweeter, and her astringent comments on life in New York City, the Orthodox Judaism in which she was raised, and the life of a performer “on the bottom rung of Show Business,” are uniformly spot-on, funny, and provide a 21st century diary of her daily frustrations and joys.

Herewith, a few examples:

Leonard Bernstein’s daughter told me she’s a fan. Leonard Bernstein’s daughter. That’s like Ben Franklin does your dry cleaning

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) August 19, 2014

Spent rehearsal watching dancers burn 1700 cal. Per 1/2 hr. while I basted in my own cellulite #onthetown #onmythighs

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) August 20, 2014

Is it bad luck to kill a cricket? My husband killed one on my mothers dairy dishes. #kitchencabinetcricket #meatbugondairy

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) August 25, 2014

My friends are already asking for free tkts. Thanks for the show of support. #onthetown #onthecheap

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) August 27, 2014

If ISIS saw On the Town, they wouldn’t hate Americans anymore #bagdadbagdaditsahelluvatown #onthetown

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 1, 2014

2 of the blondes in our cast are wearing braids. It looks like a Hitler youth convention. #onthettown

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 2, 2014

May @OnTheTownNYC be like my refrigerator door. It never closes #onthetown

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 4, 2014

Our producers left us the gift of a yoga mat in my room. You’d think they’d know me by now #onthetown #inthetrash

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 8, 2014

Today I experience the thrill of rehearsing with a 30piece orchestra. Until I have to start screaming over them #onthetown #onmythroat

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 18, 2014

Working on the jewish new year and god reminded me by waking me up 2 hrs before the alarm went off #onthetown #ona2showday #onnosleep

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 24, 2014

If you’re going to ask for an autograph, bring a pen. What am I, Staples #onthetown

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 27, 2014

As soon as we run 30 days, I’ve got to put a mezuzah on my dressing room door #onthetown #onmydoorpost

— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) September 28, 2014

For more of the wit and wisdom of Ms. Hoffman, follow her on Twitter and catch her in On The Town.

Morton Landowne is the executive director of Nextbook Inc.