Sunday, February 04, 2007

The City that Never Sleeps

Prior to all this birthday celebrating, I was actually in NYC on business. My goal had been to write about it on the Saturday I returned, but that day sort of catapulted me into a week of chaos.

My company had a conference for three days in New York. I was lucky enough to stay the Crown Plaza Times Square, which for a theater buff, is like Mecca. The meeting had all to do with endowments...not those kind... financial ones.

As the head of marketing and membership, it's important to network at these events. During the days, my boss and I mingled with the members. And in the evenings.... well what else happens when you are two blocks away from the TKTS booth? These are the times one thanks the Gods for a boss loves theater more he does.

This was the first real trip my boss and I did together. We had been at our annual meeting in Hawaii last summer, but it was on the heels of my starting the job and his taking a four-month paternity leave. We'd only worked together a few weeks since he'd been out for all that time, and so the two of us didn't really get the chance to bond much.

That changed in NYC and I felt like we got to know each other better and even bccame friends outside the work place. We laughed, we had great meals and we saw musicals.

The first on our list was Company. A Sondheim classic done with a new twist. Similar to last year's revival of Sweeny Todd, the cast played its own instruments. I was leery of the idea and given that this show is weak on staging, hadn't expected much. What a pleasant surprise to watch the chorography of actors/musicians walking about and performing together. Seriously, I was a never huge fan of this show, but the outstanding cast, the cute lead of Raul Esparza and some overall powerhouse numbers such as Sorry-Grateful, Another Hundred People and Being Alive made this a fantastic performace.

Based on the life of Edith Bouvier Beals and her daughter Edie, Grey Gardens tells the story of their rise and fall as a prominent family in the Hamptons. What makes this magic is the incredible Christine Ebersole who has the role of the matriarch in Act I (taking place in 1941) and then the daughter in Act II (1973). The music stays true to style for both periods and trust me when I say, Act II makes you feel all the creepiness that comes along with two eccentric women who eat cat food. Not only were there great songs Another Winter in a Summer Town and (I swear) Jerry Likes My Corn, but we sat two rows behind Christian Slater (my new brush with fame).

Our third show, Spring Awakening, is being hailed as the new RENT. While I loved the two previous shows, this one is the most innovative of them all. With music written by Duncan Sheik, the show actually features audience members sitting in bleachers on the stage amongst the actors (who are there when not performing). There is a great rock-n-roll feel to the show and it would be an understatement to say I was about 20 years older than their target audience. One Warning: To say there is a lot of sex portrayed on stage would be an understatement. I'm pretty comfortable watching just about anything (as my firefox porn cache will tell you), but it was awkward sitting next people in their late 60's while a young boy, dressed to be 12, masturbates under his nightshirt as four "12 year-old" girls sing around him. OK, more than awkward. But, I definitely recommend the music.

The highlight of the trip however, was meeting one of my favorite bloggers: Two Okapis. He & I became friends last year and finally got to meet up for lunch. We'd hit it off online and meeting for the first time only proved we'd been right. After 2+ hours of chatting and lunch, he finally had to be back to work and I had to hit the TKTS booth for that night's show tickets get back to our membership booth. I am constantly amazed how this world connects people from different backgrounds & locations and makes them friends.

Luckily, I'm heading back to NYC in May for more theater, more friendship and to perhaps meet other bloggers from the Big Apple.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

You did an amazing job of maximizing your time in NYC. Anyone less energetic wouldn't have gotten half as much done!

9:34 PM  
Anonymous AdventureDad said...

We sometimes miss living in NYC but when we think about doing it with kids we are happy not to be there. But there is so much fun stuff to do there and our pre-kids years there were more fun than anyone should be allowed to have.

I've been back repeatedly and had the fortune of meeting some bloggers. I agree with you, it's great to finally meet someone you only know from the internet. So far we impressions have only been positive

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5:12 AM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Definitely let me and Tony know when you're in town next! Glad to hear you had such a great trip!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous JGS said...

It really was such an enjoyable lunch. I described it as two old friends catching up rather than two people meeting for the first time.

It is amazing how that can happen.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Another gay dad said...

Love the show write ups. We are going to spend July 4th week in NYC seeing as many shows as possible. Last year we saw 11 shows in 8 days. Company and Grey Gardens are on the top of our list. We saw Spring Awakening off-Broadway last summer.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous ALN said...

Would love to see you the next time you're in NYC. I get theater tix discounts too since I'm a card member of some "working in Times Square" thing, so more than happy to hook you up. Hope all is going well!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hmmm....okay...would love to see you too.

Who are you?

3:20 PM  

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