We arrived on Tuesday and due to a delay getting to the hotel, followed by our room not being ready, threre wasn't a lot of time to do much besides eat, freshen up, and get to our first show Sweet Charity. We ate at the restaurant off the hotel lobby and had a nice meal while overlooking Times Square. My mother struck up a conversation with our waiter, Travis, after he inquired if we'd be seeing any shows. After reading the reviews, hearing the bad press, and seeing an underwhelming performance on the Tony's my mother believed that 'Charity' would be a disaster. Travis assured her that it was a very entertaining show that's gotten a bum wrap. Turns out he was right. Not that 'Charity' blew us away, but Christina Applegate was very good. Her acting exceptional - she didn't miss a beat with her comic timing - and her singing voice is far better than I expected it to be, compensating for only adequate dancing ability. The cast overall was excellent and we saw the understudy, Anika Ellis, in the supporting role of Helene who was phenomenal.
The best day, by far, was Wednesday. We had tickets for the matinee performance of Spamalot. My mother was concerned that because it was a matinee, half the cast would skip the performance. From what I'd read online, with the exception of Sara Ramiraz who had been out sick for two weeks or more, the cast has been good about not skipping shows. Thankfully, Sara was feeling better, Alan had joined the show the Thursday before, and the one substitution we did get, in the role of Sir Belvedere, was James Ludwig who is a lot cuter than the guy he replaced. :)
The scene outside the theatre was unbelievable. There are no seats available for this show. The best you can hope for is a cancellation (that line was very long) or standing room. One woman was walking through the crowd with a sign begging for a ticket. Good luck with that honey. Our seats were close to the stage, row G, but off to the side, stage left. (Sitting four or five rows back from the stage, dead center, was a Mr Sam Waterston. Yes, I finally spotted a celebrity in the audiance at one of these things. Later on, while waiting at the stage door for autographs, my mother and I heard "Excuse me" and she felt a hand on her shoulder to gently move her aside, yep, it was him again. All I managed to get out was a stunned "Oh, Hi". )
Because of our seats, we did miss some bits of staging, on the other hand, we had excellent views of the actors and were clearly able to read their facial expressions. With actors such as Tim Curry (Arthur) and David Hyde Pierce (Sir Robin and others) that's a real plus. As for Alan (Sir Lancelot and others), I'm not sure anyone was as excited as me to see him. I have to say, going by the cast recording, he doesn't have the ability that Hank Azaria (who he replaced) does with voices, but his comic timing, as we know, is great and he may be a better singer than Hank. I mentioned in my previous post that I had a "Hey, he's been working out moment" during the show. That comes during the 'His Name is Lancelot' number when Lancelot comes out of the closet. His chain mail is riped away to reveal a sequined tank top, rather form fitting pants, and a can't miss cod piece. Now, I'm not saying Alan has Bamber arms, but those were some nice arms revealed. ;-)
DHP, I have to admit, reminded me of Niles at times, but it worked well for the role he was playing. Sara Ramirez has perhaps the most incredible singing voice I've heard live. Well, let me say female, because I don't want to take anything away from Hugh. ;) And speaking of Hugh, while his may be the best performance I've seen on Broadway, 'Spamalot' is hands down the best show. I really hope they do make it into a film because I would love to have the ability to see it over and over again. I'm still replaying bits in my mind. Particularly the final shot of Lancelot and his bride, Prince Herbert, and Lancelot announcing that in a thousand years this will still be controversial!
After the show, I tried to make it to the stage door as quickly as possible because, and here is my geeky fandom moment, I really wanted Alan's autograph so I could say I have at least one from a cast member of each of Joss's shows. :p I expected a mob of people, but not so much. I was only one person back from the barrier and had I ventured to the other side I would have been right against the barrier. Of course, as I debated moving, Alan came out the door. Now, maybe I should have taken pictures. Many people had no problem asking the stars to pose with them for photos and they obliged. But, they never look happy about it in my opinion and I hate shoving a camera in their faces. So, I just went for the autographs. The more I think about it, the more like a geek I probably sounded, but I wanted to say something to Alan so he knew that there were people in the adiance who knew who the hell he was, not just Hank Azaria's replacement. So, as he handed back my program, I said "I'm really looking forward to 'Serenity' coming out" to which he looked up and said "Thanks. I'm really looking forward to it coming out too." My mother assures me he looked as if he appreciated the recognition.
I got autographs from five cast members in all including Christopher Sieber who I knew I recognized and relized it was because he starred in a series with the Olsen twins. How I know that, don't ask. Who knew he had such a great voice? The last auto I got was from David Hyde Pierce who seems like a really, really nice guy. He stayed out to sign longer than anyone, posed for pics, talked with people, told folks to be careful when he noticed them bumping into others, and answered some really dumb questions. For instance, the girl behind me asked if the wig he wears in the show was his own hair. He laughed before going "Nooooooooooo" and asked her if she thought it was possible that he could have all that stuffed up under his baseball cap.
Following the show, my mother and I chatted about it awhile before I had to leave to meet no_detective at another theatre in hopes of getting tickets to see Tha Paris Letter starring John Glover and Ron Rifkin, a show she had been raving about a few days before and insisted I see or else. I kid. ;) Surpirising, we were able to spot each other outside the theatre with very little fuss or embarressment. Assured that tickets would still be available before showtime, we went to eat dinner and chat for awhile. Of course there was talk of LJ, and fandoms, and fic. And I was shocked to learn that many in the Smallville community had just discovered John Glover was gay. Of course, I once had to inform a coworker that George Michael was gay much to her dismay. :/
Anyway, we made our way back to the theatre and ended up getting seats two back from the stage! John Glover, in addition to playing one of the leads acts as narrarator and, as such, has a tendency to play off the reactions of those in the audiance. Which meant that when someone near us could not contain their laughter, he looked right at us. It's a always an odd feeling when you get that eye contact, however fleeting, with someone on stage.
A brief description of the play can be foundHERE and for a marvelous, analytical review read Moonlash's thoughts HERE. It really is a brilliantly written and acted play and it was great to see two such fine actors in such complex roles when they are often relegated to underwhelming material on television. Interestingly, the next day, my mother was talking about a friend of hers who is gay and how miserable he is. I responded that he is just the type of person who will never be happy and I found myself drawing comparisons between he and Ron Rifkin's character. Men that just can never be accepting of who they are.
Moonlash and I headed back to the hotel after the show and ended up hanging out in the bar until it closed around 1:00am. It was fabulous conversing with her. She's so sweet, intelligent, and funny. Hopefully, we'll be able to hang out some more next time in town. I still haven't made it to Greenwich Village, I may volunteer her for tour guide services. ;)
On Thursday, I was left to my own devices during the day and just did a lot of walking around the city until we were off to see La Cage Aux Folles that night. The show paled in comparison to 'Spamalot', but it had it's moments. Gary Beach, who plays Albin, was very good, though at times seemed to take cues from Nathan Lane's performance in 'The Birdcage'. However, his solo number at the close of Act 1, "I Am What I Am" blew me away. Robert Goulet, who plays Georges, while he struggled to get around the stage and his acting was only so-so, his voice is just as good as it ever was. Now, the dancing of the Les Cagelles...Oh...My...God. Unelievable. It actually goes beyond dancing into acrobatics. How these guys can stand up the next day is beyond me with all the leaps and splits and doing it in heels!
Getting home on Firday was not fun. We got to the airport too early and had a long wait including our flight being delayed. Then a half hour out of Newark the pilot announces he's turning the plane around for a medical emergency. He asked if there was a nurse or doctor on board and to please come to the front of the plane to assist the flight attendent. What we didn't know until we landed was that it was the flight attendant who collapsed. She was taken off on a stretcher grasping her chest in obvious pain. We then had to wait for the mess (she had thrown up, a lot, apparently) to be cleaned up and a new attendant to be located all the while the air is shut off with not one, but two babies and several toddlers on board. Considering how crabby I was getting, I can't fault a teething baby for fussing.
I did see Batman Begins yesterday and can highly recommend it. A more detailed review will be forthcoming after I catch up a bit more on posts and e-mail. :)