Paul Newman was a man of many talents. Acting was only one of them. He was a race car driver and founded the Dressing Room, a fine restaurant next to the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. He created Newman’s Own Foundation, a food company whose profits go to charities. Even my cat, Willow, likes his cat food. He also founded Hole in the Wall Camps, a place where children with serious illnesses are understood and accepted. There are now ten of them around the world.
Last night, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, there was a celebration of these camps. It was a terrific show, directed by James Naughton. The star power was rich. Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger, Bill Cosby, John Mellencamp, Keb’ Mo’, Lyle Lovett, Hilary Hahn, Bette Midler, Emmylou Harris all performed. But the killer final act was Stevie Wonder. He blew the house away.
Even after his death in 2008, Paul Newman continues his legacy of quality.