The main reason for the trip to New York was the shows. So, let me skim over the rest....weather was great, crowds were not. Nothing like having an additional three million in an already crowded city. Oh, and Arnold Schwartenager (am I close on the spelling?) decided to make an impromptu apprearance at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. He was to show himself between 11am and 1pm. Since we were walking by at 11:15 we had no intention of wasting our time waiting, though, given the already large crowd of people, I guess others were willing to do so.
I made it to the Met this time and over the course of two days managed to see everything I wanted to. One interesting epiphany I had, as I was standing in front of a suit if armor, I realized it was *my* size. Apparently, during the Middle Ages I would have been considered quite tall and quite butch. :p
Whether considered good or bad, I didn't buy much accept for magnets and posters from the shows I saw, a tiny vase from an art/craft show at Lincoln center, and a spiffy Swatch watch (blue). I had no clue that Swatch made them with leather bands now. I can see me buying many new watched in the future. :)
OK, now for the shows. The first and best was The Boy From Oz. As many of you know, I had already seen it back in September while it was in previews. While I loved Hugh (of course ;), I was ho-hum in regards to the show. I had heard it improved with time and I must agree that is true. The entire cast has grown into their roles and there is a chemistry amongst the actors that wasn't there before. Then there is Hugh breaking from the show (but, not character) to interact with the audiance.
His first victims were Barbara and her friend who came in after the show started during Hugh's second number. Their excuse was they drove all the way from Toronto to see them (apparently they didn't allow enough time). Hugh proceeded to get them up to speed on what happened thus far and that they had unfortunately missed his nude scene. ;p
Following intermission, Hank came back to his seat late. He got lost on his way back from the bathroom. O....K.....
Hank had a rather long chat with Hugh in which Hank admited his fondness for musicals and the Village People with his favorite member being the Cowboy. At this point, Hugh turned to Hank's wife and informed her that she needed to have a long talk with her (thoroughly embarrased) husband that evening since he was sure this discussion had been a revelation for her. Following all this, Hugh cues the band to play a Village People song which he and Hank proceed to dance to (Hugh was a bit better ;).
At some point during all this, Vinnie up in the mezzanine (where we were seated) calls down to Hugh asking if he remembers him. Vinnie had been at a show back in July on his birthday and Hugh had had him come up on stage. Hugh didn't seem to recall him at first and needed the help of his dresser (who he brought out from the wings) to help jog his memory. I can't recall exactly why, but Vinnie was asked to remove his shirt. Proving that Hugh did recall him, he asked Vinnie if he had waxed since he previous appearance. He had. :)
Following the show, I went to the stage door to attempt to get an autograph again. In hindsight, it may have been saner to hang back. The crowd was much larger this time and I was farther back. My mother believed there was no way I'd be successful this time, but, as some of you know, I'm pushy. ;) I managed to get the equivelant of two rows back and was actually closer than last time. I got a very good look at Hugh. :) And amongst the pushing and shoving a scribble. It's his, I swear. I also got a picture....of the lower half of his face. Damn my 5' 2" height!
The next show up was Dracula: The Musical. The critics ravaged the show when it opened last month. It's not nearly as bad as they said it was. Granted, the book is a mess - if you didn't know the story, you'd be completely lost. Many of the lyrics are cringeworthy and/or fail to convey the story. But, the performers do all they can with the material and their are some wonderful performances which give rise to memorable moments. Since I always love the technical stuff, I have to make mention of how jaw-dropping the staging is - the lightening, sets, effects (dracula and his brides fly and float above the stage on numerous occassions) are amazing. This is an even greater feat considering how small the Belascoe Theatre is.
After the show, I had the opportunity to chat with the two leads - Tom Hewitt and Melissa Errico. It was really dumb luck. We had exited through the back of the theatre and I wanted to go around front to get a picture of the marquee. As we turned the corner, my mother swore one of the actors from the show just passed us. I wasn't paying attention so I had no clue if she was seeing things or not. But, then, the guy who played Jonathon Harker passed me. My mom said I was just saying that because she claimed she had seen one of the stars. :p Turns out we weren't seeing things - the stage door was at the front of the theatre and it's then that we notice Tom and Melissa there.
There was only a small group of people still there at this point, mostly kids, so we waited patiently. Tom Hewitt seemed rather shy. He was very polite and appreciative of the compliments we gave him, but he didn't seem like the type who wanted to chat (given how physically exhausting the show must be for him, I can't blame him). Melissa was an absolute doll. She was incredibly falttered that I recalled her film and TV work (I mentioned 'Life or Something Like It' and her guest turn on 'Law & Order') since she had done so little of it. My mom said something about her husband, Patrick McEnroe, commentating at the U.S. Open and she quickly told us he would be at the theatre tomorrow night if we wanted to come back and meet him. As we walked away from the theatre, we noticed that Melissa stayed until the last fan had left. :)
Last, but not least, was The Frogs. This was based on the play by Aristophanes, made into a musical by Stephen Sondheim, and, as he put it, "even more freely adapted" by Nathan Lane. Nathan also stars and is the main reason I wanted to see the show. Apparently, I was lucky to have seen him since he had injured his knee during a matinee earlier in the week and had skipped several shows.
We had terrefic seats - forth row on the side. In this particular theatre (the Vivian Beaumont) the stage juts out into the audiance and therefore they stage the show accordingly. Nathan and the rest of the cast were hilarious. One very pleasent surprise was actor/comediene John Byner. Other than guest spots here and there, I haven't really seen much of him as of late - I remembered him best from his role on Soap, what, thirty years ago?. He was terrific in the dual role of Charon/Aeakos and I'd love to see him get a Tony nomination.
Oh, and I have to make mention of one bit that stuck in my mind. It's important to remember that Nathan Lane did voice work in The Lion King (giving the laughter from the audiance, this is widely known). When Lane's Dionysos must disguise himself in a lion's pelt (long story), he turns to his slave Xanthias (Roger Bart) to get his opinion....Dionysos, arms spread, "How do I look?". Zanthias pauses then replies "Like the circle of life just ended." :D
In summation, (because it's nearly Midnight and I promised to post this by then!) I had a great time. My only regret was not being able to meet up with my LJ buddies in Atlanta. Next year I swear to plan better. :)