Monday, May 28, 2012

Carrying the Banner

Remember when I was in Costa Rica? I traveled there in January with a friend and his parents, and his Mom and I really hit it off. It turns out we both have a love for musicals, and since she lives in New York we decided it would be fun for me to come up sometime and we would go to a show. As you guys know, I'm not really one to just make plans in the abstract (I figure if you are going to do something, just do it), so when Peggy (the mom) got an email about advance ticket sales for the new Broadway show, Newsies, we decided just to go for it!

So last Saturday, I took the bus up to NYC for a day of music, dance, good food, and great company. First I met up with my friend Sarah and we had lunch at the famous John's Pizzeria in Midtown right off of Time's Square. Not only does it have delicious thin crust brick oven-baked pizza, but the restaurant is in a really cool old church. With stained glass windows and everything. We got there right when it opened at 11:30 and there wasn't too bad a crowd, but by the time we left the place was packed with tourists and townies alike.

John's Pizzeria--notice the stained glass window!

By that time, it was only a bit before the show so I said farewell to Sarah (at least until my next visit) and met up with Peggy outside the theater. Newsies is playing at the Nerderlander Theater, which has existed since 1921 and was where Rent opened and ran for 12 years. There was quite a crowd for the performance and the line to get in stretched around the block even before the doors opened. While we waited they sent out one of the guys in the chorus in his full Newsies regalia to sell programs--which were super cute and designed like newspapers.

Outside the Nederlander

When the doors (finally) opened, we entered the theater and realized our seats were pretty kickass--fourth row! While this was awesome because it meant we were super close for all the dancing action, it also meant we were really close to the actor who plays Davey and is apparently unable to speak emphatically without spraying spit all over the place. I seriously thought the people in the first row should have some kind of plastic sheeting like at a Gallagher show. I could. not. handle it.

Other than the waterworks from Davey, the show was excellent. It was very much an old-school musical like from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Just fun, solid singing and dancing--LOTS of dancing which is something I feel is missing from modern musicals. Oh, and there wasn't any tragedy or deaths or anything heavy like that. It was entertaining as hell, and as an added bonus, the cast was full of some of my favorite dancers from So You Think You Can Dance. There were a couple changes from the movie, but for the most part I thought they were all smart. And the new songs were catchy and non-offensive to a fan of the source material.

 Those are some limber newsies.

 After the show, Peggy and I wandered around looking for a place to have dinner that wasn't loaded with tourists, and on the way we came across the HBO shop. That particular adventure is documented on the tv blog, along with pictures of the awesome costumes that were displayed in the store. After shopping and dinner it was back to the bus (which was late OF COURSE) and the ride back home.

It's a long day to NYC and back and I end up spending 8 hours on the bus and only 8 hours in the city...and yet it's still worth it. All cliches aside, there is just something about the Big Apple that is exciting, inspiring, and makes me giddy. Maybe it's all the history...or just the huge masses of creative genius that it houses. Either way, I'm going to keep seeing it day at a time.

Fight the power, yo.

No comments: