THEATER DISTRICT, Manhattan – It is a labor of love fueled by elbow grease.
“We’ve been polishing the wood as you can see its nice and conditioned also sweeping,” said Tyler Lineberger, who works for four Broadway musicals: Cats, Paramour, Lion King and Wicked.
And the construction crew is unconventional because their day jobs usually look like this.
“I am the Glinda dresser at Wicked on Broadway,” Cate Goetschius said.
And on the one day when Broadway is dark and they could be home – instead they donated time and tools Monday to help a man fulfill his dream. Enter Randy Strickland Witherspoon, whose Broadway backing meant a lot to him.
“It does, it does because we are family on Broadway,” Randy said.
For years Strickland-Witherspoon was part of the wardrobe team for big Broadway plays. And he’s often do the catering for the casts. His Southern cooking was so popular friends encouraged him to open up a restaurant. And here it is: Spoonfed NYC.
Construction was moving along, they even secured an executive chef and then came a plot twist.
“I fell three months behind the rent here thinking I would open in December,” Randy said.
The curtain could not go up on this culinary stage because of an unexpected setback.
“We were left by our contractors who didn’t finish the job.” Randy said. “So the Broadway community I reached out to with an S.O.S. a week and a half ago.”
The response was overwhelming. Broadway carpenters, electricians and even actors showed up – not for recognition or applause.
“Three months of work happened in three days,” chef Mustafa Abdul-Rahiim said.
“The electric work undone, unfinished,” Randy said. “I could not have gotten in done without the electricians from Wicked to Kinky Boots to Hamilton.”
And it was all simply to help friend in need.
“Randy was always such a delight at work and we were so proud of him when he left to kind of like make this happen and make this dream come true,” Lineberger said.