Tuesday, April 13, 2021

He did 105 shows in a season. Now he watches TV.

Before the epidemic, he played the role of host. Every winter since 1978, he convened a series of Wednesday night salons, inviting curators, collectors, artists and art lovers to gather at his apartment. “It’s amazing conversations that happen around midnight,” he said.

It was his final night on March 9, 2020, when he went to a cabaret showcase Petrino’s Monday Night Live with friends. “It was a complete throttle,” he said, “as if everyone knew a lockdown was coming.”

A few days later, he dressed and boarded the bus to watch performances of “Rapsody in Blue” and “Bolero”. He arrived, found out that the performance had been canceled, and went back home. It was March 12.

Minica was never used much for television. For years he had a hand-me-down black-and-white, he used to watch the Oscars and elections, but when the tube started leaking, he threw it away. At the onset of the epidemic, a friend offered him his old TV – he was upgrading – and he decided it was time to hook up the cable and detect streaming.

He is binging “Doughton Abbey”, “The Crown” and “Bridgeshed Revisited”. He occasionally watches the film. But he does not have the patience for digital theater. “I just don’t enjoy it,” he says. “I’ve been for the real thing.”

He now has both vaccine supplements, and he plans to celebrate by watching a Monet performance at the Art Institute. But will he go back for a live performance? He is not sure.

“I’ve said that I have a habit of sitting at home, and not paying for tickets, or spending a couple of nickels to streamline some things,” he said. “And it used to be an 8 o’clock curtain for you, and if I wasn’t there, they would close the doors. Now I can start whenever I want and I don’t have to wear matching tucks.”

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