Thursday, October 06, 2005

Only in New York

5 shows in 2 days, baby!
Last Friday I flew to NYC to see mon ami Jason and, of course, to see shows.
Thanks to a prolonged wait at the baggage claim, and a slow A train to town, I arrived with just enough time for us to toss my suitcase in his room and dash off to see Wicked.
Pretty good show! It was terribly satisfying to finally know the whole plot of the show, instead of just what I could piece together from the CD and the book it was based on.
I liked the show far better than I liked the book. The music is just wonderful. The gal who played Glinda did a great job. Ben Vereen is a relic (not necessarily in a bad way), and Rue McClanahan gave a fine example of the Rex Harrison school of "singing". The best part was how they weaved the references to the original "Oz" in. I am looking forward to seeing it again next weekend.

After the show, we grabbed a falafel from a hole-in-the-wall next to the dorms and decided to take advantage of being in a big city, and went to a midnight showing of Proof. It took us a wee bit to find the theater, but we only missed the first minute or so. The movie was actually rather faithful to the play. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Fine acting, good script (of course!), and it reiterated to me why I love films so much - they are just so much more intimate than theater (ironic, I know).

We slept in the next morning, then walked around NYU. Such a great campus! Then we changed for the opera and headed to the Met at Lincoln Center. They were doing La Boheme with sets that almost made me cry with happiness. It was so fantastic. That is, however, what you get when you hire Franco Zeffirelli to design them. Seriously, though. Sets to make me cry.

After the opera, we had dinner at the Gray Dog Cafe, next to the dorms. We shopped at the best-named bookstore ever (see photos below). I was good - I only bought 3 books. Which was remarkable, given the price. Then it was off to "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee".

Putnam County was hilarious! They had an excellent set-up in the lobby. The cast was outstanding. I enjoyed seeing a show in a smaller space, too. The show lacked the spectacle of "Wicked" and other multi-million dollar shows, but in some ways it was a better production. Not to be cheesy, but it had more heart. Plus the fact that I could easily name students of mine to match each and every character on stage. If you get a chance, go see this show. Or you'll just have to wait until I have my community theater and I direct it. :)

Because we weren't tired enough, we actually went to another movie that night - Serenity. I was worried at first about falling asleep, but this movie was so great. I have to say the best part, as with "Lord of the Rings" was seeing it with fans. They lost all restraint and reacted quite vocally the second half of the movie. My two favorite moments were 1) when the fans vocalized the full gamut of emotions ("Gasp!" "Awww!" <> <>) at the sight of two key characters "getting it on" and 2) The guy who said "Oh, s***!" loudly at the sight of the Reavers, so caught up was he in the action on screen.
Aside from the fans, it really is a good movie. Proved even more so by Jason's enjoyment of it without ever having seen an episode of "Firefly".

We slept in again the next morning, then got a mandatory breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese, and shopped Soho. Back to the dorms to get my bags, and off to the airport.

As a final piece of advice to you, let me caution this: When flying out of New York, be sure to check not only your flight time, but the airport as well. Because going to JFK when your flight's out of Newark is a costly mistake. You can imagine the scenario, but I will tell you this: the guy at the movie was not the only one who swore this weekend.

Au revoir, mes amis!

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