Driving Mr. Goldstein

By Fairyington, Stephanie | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), December 2015 | Go to article overview

Driving Mr. Goldstein


Fairyington, Stephanie, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


In 1979, Kim Powers, a 22-year-old theater aficionado and aspiring actor, drove Jess Goldstein, a 30-year-old costume designer, around Williamstown, Mass., looking for fabrics, but instead found love. Thirty-six years later, they're still going strong. As told to Stephanie Fairyington

Goldstein: One of my very first jobs out of the Yale School of Drama was designing clothes at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts for a Tennessee Williams play called Camino Real. When I was a grad student, I allowed my driver's license to lapse. I couldn't drive anywhere, so they assigned Kim to the task. He was an intern in the production office.

Powers: When I met him for the first time, I said, "I'd love to see your sketches." That wasn't a line! He needed a chauffeur so he could shop for antique clothes and fabrics. Over that two-week period, we did some long-range trips into New York City, which is about 3 1/2 hours away from Williamstown.

Goldstein: That's how we got to know each other. It was love at first sight. I thought he was adorable.

Powers: It wasn't quite love at first sight for me, but I certainly thought he was very cute, very charming, very boyish. Back in those days, everyone said Jess resembled the actor Joel Grey because he had a little Jewish face and black-framed glasses. I have a fondness for Jewish men! Maybe there was a little crush. I was also fascinated by his world.

Goldstein: We talked a lot about theater. I loved his curiosity about life and the arts.

Powers: As a little Texas boy, I was a very stage-struck kid and I hung on his every word. On the opening night of Camino Real, he said, "I think I'm in love with you." It was so romantic. I don't remember what happened next. I think we probably started making out! Then the floodgates opened. …

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