Greetings from New York I

April 30, 2008
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The line is short at the temporary TKTS half-price ticket booth (although just about everyting is available), every third non-tourist woman seems to want to be Tina Fey, and Central Park looks great. Wish you were all here.

I'm blogging from an Internet cafe on 8th Avenue on my trek up toward Lincoln Center where I will be catching the matinee of "South Pacific." From there it's a stop for some jazz at Birdland and then the evening performance of the new musical "Cry-Baby," which opened on Broadway last week. Some random thoughts:

* It seems odd that this is the first Broadway revival of that classic show. What took so long?

* Seems kind of magical, too, that the same show being staged with a 30-piece orchestra and top-notch cast here is also being performed in Indy at Footlite Musicals and in dozens of places around the country. There are only a handful of shows as oft-staged as this one. The question: What makes a classic? (I know there's no answer to this or else there would be more of them.)

* The fact that Birdland charges a cover in the middle of Wednesday says something about this city.

* I've tried to avoid reading reviews of "Cry-Baby." But I know that the New York Times was tepid and the Wall Street Journal raved. A friend who I asked to join me, an actor, said that he wouldn't be caught dead at it. Still, I'm going in very hopeful. I try not to see anything that I can't go into with not just an open mind, but with enthusiasm. I want this show to be very funny. I want it, like all shows here and at home, to be a show I can rave about in my IBJ review. We'll see what happens.

More as the trip continues...

Meanwhile, feel free to chime in with great New York arts memories...
  • How exciting that you are in New York, Lou!

    The one time that I was in New York as an adult was before I had developed a habit of going to see live theatre. I was there on a business trip, and I only had one free day. I just sort of wandered around, enjoying the city itself as a collage, and doing mostly free touristy things. Some of them were artsy if you define the arts very broadly:

    I visited the public library. I visited my old neighborhood and tried to imagine my mother wheeling me around there in a stroller. (I include that as a New York arts memory because I was using my imagination!) I watched a scam artist and his partner trying to trick other people into betting on which cup the ball was under. And I happend on a shop in Greenwhich Village where you could paint your own t-shirt using their tubes of paint. I think I still have that shirt in a box somewhere.

    Some day I would like to go back to NYC and see what all the fuss is about on Broadway. I would like to know what it's like to see a Broadway show while it is actually ON Broadway.

    I look forward to reading your NYC reviews and reports!

    Hope Baugh
  • I was in New York September of 2000. I was a travel agent then and was on a company trip. My room at the hotel had a view of Carnegie Hall which I thought was fantastic. I walked all over Chinatown, through Little Italy and all the way down to Wall Street and back. I loved seeing the Federal Building and Trinity Church surround by all the skyscrapers. We saw SWING! on Broadway. I remember absolutely loving it, but not sure if it was really a great show. My perspective then was more limited. At any rate, I remember being enthralled with it. I bought a program that I still have today. I do remember being unimpressed with the theater itself... I remember my knees in the back of the person in from of me and I'm only 5'3!

    Have fun Lou - we look forward to more reports from the Big Apple!
  • Lou, your trip sounds fantastic and I'm eager to hear about your time at Birdland. When I made my high school senior trip to New York, many, many moons ago, I wanted to get to Birdland. Didn't make it then and haven't make it on other trips since. But that first trip to NY I did get to see Damn Yankees and Pajama Game. Eye opening for a kid still wet behind the ears. I think Jane will want to hear about your food experiences there, too.

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