We were both a little slow getting started Sunday morning, but after Starbucks, showers, some blogging and a little wasting time, we finally set out to start our second, three show day. The trouble was… most real restaurants weren’t serving (or open) until noon and we had a one o’clock show. After trying several specific locations and then just searching for anything open… we ended up eating at Chevy’s on 42nd Street. Not exactly fine dining or unique to New York but we were on a schedule and didn’t want fast food.
Newsies was one of my choices of shows to see. I remembered seeing the movie years ago and really liking it. Michael wasn’t so enthused about the prospect. He’d never seen the movie, only the Macy’s Parade clip from last year and that didn’t make him eager to see it.
The good news is that we both loved it. The choreography and dancing was outstanding, as were all the performers. Afterwards, Michael said, “Why is it that the best shows in New York are the ones I didn’t really care to see?” It’s always hit and miss with shows. We’re pretty easy to please if there is an acceptable level of production values and more than anything… the actors need to at least look like they want to be there.
Our middle show was definitely a wild card. After our disappointing Miss Abigail experience the day before, I think both our expectations dropped another notch. So we trekked over to the west side for the off-Broadway performance of SISTAS The Musical! It’s billed as a story of African American women told through Top 40 music…. From Bessie Smith to Beyonce.
I should probably note that Michael and I were two of maybe ten white faces in the audience of mostly 50-something African American women. This excited me because I knew we’d be in for a passionate, vocal crowd.
Just before we went in, another white couple showed up in front of the theatre looking a bit confused. The female disappeared briefly and the male said something to another theatre-goer that I didn’t quite hear. Her response was, “Oh no baby, this ain’t Sister Act, this is SISTAS.” (I would have thought the entrance to a church basement would have been a clue.) A little embarrassed, he said, “Oh well, there’s singing and dancing, right? What more do you need than some singing and dancing?” I loved his positive attitude upon learning his mistake. I’m not sure his companion was as cheerful.
The show was very entertaining and truly was a musical journey. The plot was thin but just enough to tie together a treasure trove of musical riches. When it came to Whitney Houston’s I Am Nothing, there were audience whisper’s of “Whitney” and the room fell completely silent and became both a solemn tribute and celebratory moment of a woman, whose name wasn’t even mentioned. It was something you would have had to experience.
We had a rushed trip from midtown down to the Village to catch my most anticipated show of the trip, CARRIE, The Musical. This show had a lot of buzz surrounding it, as the revival of what is considered to be the biggest flop in Broadway history. They re-worked it and made several changes from the original for this production. We made it to the theatre with 20 minutes to spare and Amy was able to join us again.
Let’s just say, I think the three of us all had differing opinions, mostly positive, but something different bothered each of us. The big controversy with this production, is the bucket of blood. In case you are not familiar, the musical CARRIE is based on the classic Stephen King horror classic, culminating in the character of Carrie having a bucket of blood dumped on her at her senior prom. In this production, they chose to do it with a lighting effect instead of actual blood. Let’s just say, at our performance, the effect timing was all off and didn’t happen at the right time. So the actress was basically ahead of the effects that were poorly timed or executed.
Overall, I loved it as much as I thought I would. Could there be changes? Yes. Was it perfect? No. But I love the bullying storyline, the struggles between mother and daughter ( just trying to survive another day) in their warped view of reality. I was completely engrossed and entertained.
My last thought for today’s post goes back a few years. Back in the early 90’s when I would travel to New York by myself, I attended a show in the West Village… and while walking around the streets exploring, I wandered on to a street and suddenly thought, “This is Home.” I can’t explain it, if you’ve felt it before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s something you just know. So I took this photo on Christopher Street outside the theater where Carrie was playing.
It just feels like home.