Isaac's Musical Moment

Mizrahi Designs And Directs Sondheim for the Saint Louis Stage

Isaac Mizrahi was 11 when he put on his first performance. The cast members were puppets he had sewn himself, and the show was staged in his garage at home. He called it Follies, after the Stephen Sondheim musical that had recently opened in New York. Almost 40 years later, the flamboyant New York fashion designer, film star and television show host will make his directorial debut with a production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music—for which Mizrahi also designed the set and costumes—beginning June 6 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Mizrahi spoke about this new plume in his multifeathered cap, and handed over some exclusive sketches of his designs for the stage. 

In five words, describe your vision of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

Classic, bawdy, elegant, earthy, lilt.

What’s the difference between designing for the runway and for the stage?

I would say it's about execution: one is a fantasy you're trying to make real, and one is a reality you're trying to make fantastic. 

How does a die-hard New Yorker get by in the Midwest?

This die-hard New Yorker is having a divine time in the gateway to the West. I drove here with my darling boyfriend and my dogs, and we're in a corporate apartment, which is sterile and artificial. Yet there are times it can be paradise when we feel like the same happy resilient family we were on the East Coast. 

What’s the best local St. Louis’ cuisine you’ve sampled? 

Luckily there's an adorable market close to where we're living called Straubs.  I have not been to one restaurant. No time for all this famous barbecue and frozen custard I hear about. Right now I'm the hardest-working man in show business. 

What’s on your “night music” playlist for summer?

I've been listening to The Bad Plus and Ravel—and a lot of Sondheim to get into the mood. 

The five accessories should every woman should own are…

A fabulous watch, maybe the Verdura pineapple one
Amazing Manolo Blahnik shoes, still the most gorgeous things on earth
The right lipstick—the fallback color when you don't want to think 
Big incognito sunglasses
An engagement ring—the bigger the better

Your site www.isaacmizrahiny.com is an interactive fashion wonderland that can suck you in for hours.  What’s your guilty online fix?

Yankees.com. Some time soon one of the boys, maybe [Derek] Jeter or [team manager Joe] Girardi, will send me a World Series ring, which I want more than anything in the world. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN. Publish that. No kidding.

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