The 11 O'Clock Number
Collage art with a black and white polka dot background that features layers of various clocks.  In the center of the art is a smiling Black woman looking up, her hands at either side of her face in a flourish.

The idea of the eleven o’clock number is something cherished and longed for by actors and actresses of the theatre, but the concept does not necessarily translate to denizens of the other forms of entertainment, particularly in Los Angeles. Which brings me to the story of my friend Jenifer Lewis and “The 11 O’clock Number.”

Jenifer was doing a television series a few years back called Strong Medicine, and all the regular cast members had a gentlemen’s agreement that if somebody had somewhere important to go, they would all push to get out early.

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Marc Shaiman
Marc Shaiman

is a Tony, Grammy, Emmy-winning, and seven-time Oscar-nominated lyricist/composer. Credits include Some Like It Hot, Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Sleepless In Seattle, Patch Adams, The First Wives Club, The American President, South Park, Beaches, When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, The Addams Family, Sister Act, A Few Good Men, Mary Poppins Returns, SNL, and Smash.