Ron Simons, one of New York’s few Black Broadway producers, has received Tony Awards for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Porgy & Bess,” “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” and “Jitney.” “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” which closed last month, and “For Colored Girls,” which is due to open this spring, were both produced by him in response to the pandemic.
After George Floyd’s murder in May 2020 and the ensuing turmoil and talks about racism that ensued, Mr. Simons observed, “Recent events have allowed us to be completely articulated.” Through storytelling, shows like ‘Thoughts of a Colored Man’ and others might help remove racial prejudice and misinformation.’
Mr. Simons is upbeat despite dwindling Broadway attendance and casts and crews scrambling to avoid the Omicron variation. “It’s easy to overlook how long Broadway has been around,” he remarked. There will be no disappearance of Broadway as a cultural institution. It’s still going strong, and it’s getting more inclusive.”
A personal trainer and health practitioner, Mr. Simons is 61 years old and lives on West 54th Street with his partner, Jbya Clarke, 53.
EXTRA TIME NEEDED TO SEE A PLAY
Alexa wakes me up between 10 and 11 a.m. with an irritating beeping noise, depending on when I went to bed the night before. For shows like “For Colored Girls,” I tend to work into the early hours of the morning on Saturdays in order to raise money. I dial the number to check on the status of the shows and see if there are any problems that need to be addressed.
PURGE Jbya has already gotten out of bed and is brewing coffee for the day ahead. Both Hawaiian and Costa Rican coffees from Café Britt are currently being served to us. I’ll have it with cream and Stevia in whichever cup I can get my hands on. This is followed by a green juice made with spinach and MCT oil and collagen, pineapple, and mango.
It has a calming effect. I’m hooked to fast food because it’s cheap, fast, and convenient…. Detoxification benefits from this. Every year, in mid-January, I go through an 11-day purge. I’m down to just green juices and protein powders to eat. It’s important to me to begin the year with a positive outlook. I’m lighter and more focused after the purge.
THE STREAM OF SPIRITUALITY.
The R.O.C.K. church in Houston is where I’m a member. The pastor is married to my cousin. Because she preaches and runs the church, I get to sit in on the morning service virtually. Her example is one that I strive to follow. I’m always on the lookout for beauty and inspiration. As a result, I’ve been able to refute the news that’s been making its way across the nation. I’m thinking of meditating as well.
By the time it’s time for lunch, we’re already planning where we’ll eat brunch. Cookshop is our favourite place to eat. Instead of a cinnamon roll, I get wheat toast because I always vow I won’t get one. I also get the cinnamon roll. French fries, too. They’re my arch-enemy. One or two of our buddies may join us. When we host brunch at our home or bring it to a potluck, it’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends.
My job is to vote for the Tony Awards, so I have to watch every new show. We’ll go to the theatre instead of brunch if we don’t have time to eat. As a result of my exhaustion throughout the week, I tend to fall asleep at night, thus Sunday makes me a more aware audience member.
INTERACTIVE DINNER WITH LIGHTING
After the show, Jbya and I take a stroll through Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. The Hell’s Kitchen restaurants are on my list of places to eat. In contrast to eating in front of the television, dining out has a different vibe.
Look at what they’re providing and how they’re rated on their menus. I’ll go in if there are a few dishes that catch my eye. Additionally, it must be spotless and well-lit. I’m a sucker for a good show. When I meet new people, I always bring up the subject of lighting and how it affects one’s mood. After that, we walk back home because I’ve gained 20 pounds since Covid.
PILE UPON PILE OF STUFF.
Jbya and I parted ways at five o’clock and returned around seven o’clock. He retreats to his man cave, which is our media room, shuts the door, dims the lights, and pulls the drapes back to block out the sunlight. After that, he watches something about the Kardashians, the Royal Family, or RuPaul.
I convince myself to open the mail I’ve been putting off for a month because my mailbox is so full that the doorman has to hold it for me. Action items, including responding to an invitation, paying a payment, or cashing a check, are all things that I despise having to do. Or, if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I’ll try to tame my cluttered work space. As soon as I finish something, it all piles up on my desk.
Although I have a lot of stuff to complete, it still seems strewn all over the place I’m a bit of a packrat. I’m a big fan of tchotchkes.
TRAYS AND TALK
By 7 p.m., we’ve decided between Seamless and Uber Eats for delivery. We might eat at a Chinese restaurant or a hamburger joint. For Jbya, the Impossible Whopper is her favourite, and she frequently orders it with fries and a Diet Coke if she doesn’t have any at home. We now have retro-style TV trays in the media room, thanks to my recent purchase. Our time together is at its peak right now.
Weekday evenings might be particularly trying. Today has been quite the contrast for us both. When he’s ready to talk, I’m ready to stop talking since I’ve been talking all day. Sunday is a great opportunity for us to come together since I’m still trying to figure out how to do that.
It’s an action-packed escape. Last night we completed listening to “Tales from the City.” What we’re looking for are thrillers and science fiction. “For Colored Girls” has its final cast and I’m still in the fundraising stage, so I’ve spent the week making money calls. The “Bourne Identity” series, which we can watch over and again, “The Matrix,” or “The Lord of the Rings” series come to mind when I have a night like this.
We’re back in bed by 1 or 2 a.m. When I call Alexa, she lights up. I either ask for a nudge or go ahead and set an alarm if I need a reminder. That’s when I order her to play the sound of a rain storm. In our parlance, it’s white noise. Jbya is the first to go to sleep. Playing games on my phone for 45 minutes if I can’t I take my role in West Game seriously. Toy Blast is a matching puzzle game, while Town Builder is a fighting game in which you build your own town and fight other players. It’s easy for me to nod off when my eyes feel heavy.
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