Out With Dr. Bill: Birthdays! And an Electrifying Evening with Trailblazer Beverly Johnson

Dr. William Kapfer READ TIME: 9 MIN.

Beverly Johnson on stage
Source: Richard Termine

Beverly Johnson: A Trailblazer's Story

As the week progressed, the spotlight shifted to the stage, where my longtime friend Beverly Johnson took center stage in a one-woman show titled "Beverly Johnson: In Vogue" at the 59E59th Theaters. This theater group was originally established by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation in 2004 to grant professional space and expertise to non-profit theater companies premiering their work in New York City.

Drawing from her 2015 memoir, Beverly bared her soul in a raw and honest exploration of her journey through the tumultuous world of fashion. In her 75-minute "live biography," Beverly laid bare the highs and lows of her career, offering a poignant glimpse into the challenges of navigating an industry rife with racism and discrimination. With candor and grace, she shared the lessons learned from her mistakes, reminding us all of the resilience of the human spirit.

Beverly Johnson on the cover of Vogue

For Beverly Johnson, breaking barriers isn't just a catchphrase - it's a way of life. As the first Black woman to grace the cover of American Vogue nearly fifty years ago, she blazed a trail for generations to come. Now, she takes to the stage to share her story with humor, fearlessness, and unapologetic honesty.

In her show, co-written with Ravetch, Beverly invites audiences on a non-linear journey through her life, weaving moments of triumph and reflection. With a captivating blend of monologue, visuals, and music, she celebrates not only her own achievements but also the trailblazing women who paved the way before her. I eagerly anticipate following the show's success as it embarks on tour.

Loida Lewis, Dr.William Kapfer, and Beverly Johnson

A Memorable Evening with Loida Lewis

Amidst the whirlwind of social engagements, and following Beverly's remarkable performance, one event from the weekend stood out - a Sunday dinner party hosted by the charming Loida Lewis. Held at her elegant upper eastside home, the dinner party was filled with inspiring, accomplished, and kind people, further enriching the evening that exuded grace, elegance, and cherished memories.

It was during this gathering that I learned about Loida's captivating memoir, "Why Should Guys Have All the Fun?: An Asian American Story of Love, Marriage, Motherhood, and Running a Billion Dollar Empire," and felt inspired to learn more about her extraordinary life. As Loida shared glimpses of her journey, from romance to entrepreneurship, I was captivated by the depth of her story and the resilience of her spirit.

Motivated by the insights gained that evening, I promptly ordered Loida's book, eager to delve deeper into her remarkable life. With just a few clicks, my Barnes & Nobel order was placed, marking the end of a day filled with discovery and connection.

Embracing Stories and Connections

As I reflect on the power of storytelling to unite us all, I am reminded of the words of Beverly Johnson: "My biggest lessons are in my huge mistakes." Whether through memoirs or stage performances, our stories have the power to inspire, uplift, and connect us in profound ways.

by Dr. William Kapfer

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