Laura is one of the most beautiful and big-hearted women I know, and I have always appreciated her quick laugh and generous spirit. She kept me sane throughout our six-year Broadway run in the orchestra of “The Producers”, not only in the pit but also while commuting together through the Times Square mayhem surrounding our theater, and there were countless Sunday nights when I joined Laura and her husband Tom to watch the latest episode of “The Sopranos” or “Six Feet Under” while quaffing gin&tonics. (They had HBO; I brought the gin.) She is my closest neighbor from whom I can borrow the proverbial neighborly cup of sugar, although our kitchen requests of each other tend to be a bit more specific, such as “Can I use your Kitchenaid?” or “May I borrow your silicone baking mats to make those incredible New York Times chocolate chip cookies that we love so much?” And she is definitely one of the most genuinely enthusiastic taste-testers for whom I have ever had the pleasure of cooking.
Laura and Tom love sailing on the Pioneer, the 100-foot schooner which does daily harbor tours from South Street Seaport. When she decided weeks ago that she wanted to celebrate her birthday by taking an evening sail with friends, we all literally hopped on board. I volunteered to make the birthday cake, and after batting many ideas back and forth, we decided that cupcakes would be the easiest thing to manage. Two of the flavors that kept coming up in our discussion were key lime and coconut, so I decided to create a special birthday cupcake for her.