Monday, July 22, 2024

Billy Joel Makes a Surprise (to Him) Appearance at Afternoon Tea for Robert DeNiro’s “Comedian”


It’s not like there weren’t enough stars in the Plaza Athenee dining room this afternoon. Besides Robert DeNiro and Danny DeVito, who headline Taylor Hackford’s “The Comedian,” there was Edie Falco, Leslie Mann, Lois Smith not mention Danny’s actress daughter Lucy DeVito, plus Danny’s old “Taxi” co-star Carol Kane, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard from Sony Pictures Classics, Sean Stone (son of Oliver), and so on. They’d just been to a very full screening of “The Comedian.”

But right as guests were filing in for afternoon tea, a familiar face stood before me. “What’s going on in here?” asked none other than Billy Joel, who has nothing to do with the movie, but had been staying in the hotel overnight. (If you want to find stars, always check the Plaza Athenee.)

Billy had been in town from Long Island to have dinner last night with daughter Alexa. He looks great. Suddenly, guests for the DeNiro tea are lining up to take photos with Billy.

Billy, I asked, have you ever seen “SoapDish”?

He said, “You mean with Sally Field? Where she goes to the mall to get attention?”

Billy was having his “SoapDish” moment.

Last night Billy had been a guest, coincidentally, at DeNiro’s Broadway opening of “A Bronx Tale.” It’s a small town, New York.

“I loved that show,” he told me. “Originally they’d asked me to work on some of the songs,” he said. Eventually Alan Menken wrote the score. Some of the songs do have a Billy Joel feel to them.

“Hey, isn’t that Billy Joel?” someone asked as the famed composer and rock star faded out the front door and “The Comedian” took over.

Only in New York, kids.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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