Bright Lights, White Lights, Where the Neons Glow (NY Trip Part 2)

May 14, 2012

Picking up from Part 1 –

I didn’t finish up talking about that vacation (NY) before my next vacation (to Ohio), but now I have time to backtrack.

I really enjoyed Magic/Bird. (Unfortunately, you won’t if you haven’t already. It closed two days ago.) I wish sports in general were this theatrical. Football would probably become very interesting all of a sudden.

Yes, I know Magic/Bird was about basketball, but basketball is something I already find interesting. (I am from Indiana, after all.) So, I went with a sport I don’t really know that much about or watch at all…yet.

And yes, I understand that maybe, to lovers of the games, sports are absolutely just as dramatic and theatrical and musical theater. Maybe I should just change my perspective. Hmm, didn’t think about that until I just typed it. That’s a devil’s advocate thought I will remember the next time I’m a little bored by a game my dad is watching.

Seeing a show’s first preview is fun. For all you non-theater lovers out there – well, you might not be reading anymore since this whole post is about theater. If you are still reading, shows change all the way through previews. So, it’s cool to see stuff that might get cut. You might see a fun secret joke that no other audiences will get to see.

But later, when you read reviews of the opening, you hear about different endings or cool things you didn’t get to see, and think “oh man, I missed out!” Don’t sweat it. Once it’s open, it’s gonna stay that way. You have plenty of time to go back and see what’s changed. (Well, not in this instance since it’s already closed. There’s usually a big shift in what’s playing once Tony nominations come out.)

Before the show, I may have run into one of my favorite actors on the street, If that in fact happened, I’ll be mentioning it when I continue my The Book of Mormon (The Musical, of Course) series.

poster for the 2012 revival of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, and David Alan GrierThe following night, I opted to see The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. My friend Phil had warned me that Audra had been out sick recently. I checked with the box office, and she was back. Off to TKTS I went. I was apprehensive to see the show, considering Stephen Sondheim super took issue with this show, but why not check it out?

I didn’t realize David Alan Grier was in the show until I got there. Let me tell you, he was excellent! I didn’t realize how talented he is. Of course, Audra blew me away. What a singer/actress! (And what a body she has. I wonder what all she does to get so unbelievably fit.) It goes without saying that Norm Lewis held his own as well in the fabulous cast.

Philip Boykin was making his Broadway debut (at 43 years old! (age shared ’cause he says publicly that he doesn’t mind sharing it)) as Crown. He seemed so incredibly beside-himself-happy in the Broadway Cares speech at curtain call, and in his bio in the Playbill. Even though he played an unlikable character, the glimpses I saw of the man behind the character really endeared him to me.

It warms my heart when I see people who worked so hard, and struggle for so long achieve their dreams after they refuse to give up.

Costumes, set design, all of it – great. I won’t comment on this revival vs. other productions. (Stephen Sondheim is much more educated on that than I am.) I’ll just say that the cast and the theatrical elements of the show were fantastic.

Friday, it was time for Memphis (the musical, of course), which got its own post. Then it was off to North Carolina for another half marathon.

I came back and on that Monday (April 30th), and saw Newsies (which also got its own post) with my awesome friend Tom from my class at the Commercial Theater Institute.

a humongous crowd waiting to see Ricky Martin outside of Evita
The crowds on both sides of the street are for Ricky Martin.

On Tuesday, my wonderful friend Phil scored us super discounted tickets to Evita. (I miss Phil so much when I’m in LA. We’ve lived in New York and in LA at the same time before, but now we each live in one of those cities… So far away. Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore? (I’m always the one singing that song, yet I’m always the one who’s leaving.))

So, we went to Evita. I’m amazed by how how many people crowd around to catch a glimpse of Ricky Martin every night.

I had buckets of fun with Phil, and will finish out my  New York adventure in Part 3.

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