Monday, April 14, 2008

Project 30: I'm a pretty girl Momma...

Task 13/30: See a show on Broadway in New York City.
Complete: April 5, 2008

Gyspy on Broadway

Gyspy on Broadway

Gypsy. I can name this musical in 2 notes. If I could be reborn a Broadway star, my dream role would be this and it's title is a word I use to describe myself and my upbringing. Every strong female in the history of Broadway has played her, and I have just seen the best. Patti Lapone, Broadway's angel, has been cast in the role that was made for her. (I did not know who she was previous, but I assure you, I know her now.) Starring as Mama Rose in Broadway's millionth revival of my personal all time favorite musical, she brought down the house, and that is no exaggeration. This project is about "I've never's" and in all of my theater attendance, a show has not been delayed simply by the applause from the star's entrance on stage, or for a standing ovation after the highlight number. She was the first catalyst for these moments in my life, and didn't miss a beat or break character for a second to acknowledge our praise. She was the star of the show, and of a project night so worthy, I can't be thankful enough.

Highlighting the end of a very full first day touristing in New York City, I took my seat in the Mezzanine at the modest St. James Theater next to an amazing theater couple who had driven in from Pennsylvania and seen every musical since 1966. I was assured before the show, I was in for a treat. Only one week after opening, this was the hot ticket to score, with rave reviews saying that this woman has outdone even her own best performances and the legacies of those previous to her in this role. (I actually lucked out, because I got my discount tickets before opening, before reviews, so already a score ahead.) She was amazing. Just amazing. The whole show was amazing. In fact, I don't think it could have been better. I was wow'd beyond what I could have even expected. I knew every note of that damn show, I've danced it a trillion times in front my mirror listening to the soundtrack growing up, training myself to chew out all the words of the most passionate anthems all in one breath, so I knew how she had to strain, how perfect she hit those notes. I've seen a dozen recordings of every actress from Tyne Daly to Bette Midler on screen, so I knew how the characters could be played, how it could vary the story. She nailed it. They nailed it. I loved it and stood and clapped and bravo'd and called for more. I wanted to see it again and again.

Mary Poppins on Broadway

Mary Poppins on Broadway Times Square

The next night I had a ticket to Mary Poppins. Unfortunately, I was less excited about it, since I hadn't read the reviews prior to buying my tickets, and it wasn't shining off the pages, but I at least had orchestra seats for this show. Even the theater guy from the night before said that "he" was good, and that the staging was cool, but it wasn't a blockbuster. I was really going since I wanted to see a Disney show and a) couldn't get discount tickets to Lion King or Beauty and the Beast and b) wasn't going to see the Little Mermaid. Also, as a bonus, the night before I had asked the gentleman what his favorite THEATER on Broadway was, and he said the New Amsterdam, where Mary Poppins was being held. The old Ford Theater, it was richly decorated and much more intense than the tiny St. James so it was a bonus. I'm a sucker for venues.

I definitely see why people wouldn't have liked this show, it doesn't follow the same exact plot as the Disney version, and is more based of the stories that the Disney version was based on. Mary Poppins in this show is much more of a conceited little bitch. She actually humorously mocks the "Practically Perfect" nature of herself amazingly. I personally enjoyed this version of the story and the characters maybe a bit more. And if I was going for staging, I still saw something pretty spectacular. The way they set up the house, lifting and raising the attic, having him dancing upside down and flying her completely over the audience up to the catwalk. Even the costumes and the songs that weren't anything like what you would expect kept you entertained. I mean, theater has to be really bad for me to not like it, and while it wasn't my most favorite show, they did a really good job of keeping me entertained, as well as the massive audience of children with me, which is no easy adventure for 2 hours.

With not just one, but two Broadway shows in one weekend under my belt, I'd say this is very much MISSION COMPLETE!

I am now an addict, and I can't wait to go back. Plane ticket, plus theater ticket, plus hostel for 2 nights is easily a $500 turnaround weekend I see myself doing as a spoiling thing at some point and would definitely stay in a hostel again to get another chance to see Broadway on Broadway...CryBaby is there now after all...


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Theaterholics Anyonomus. The session will now begin.

Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in the city. I saw Marry Poppins a few months ago and loved it and am seeing Gypsy tomorrow.

Just a tip. Check out for 50% or more off tickets to shows (and no waiting till the day of the show like the TKTS booth!)

Glad to hear there is another theater lover out there. And I'm sure you'll be glad to hear there is another lover of your blog out there :-)

Tori said...

Hi David!

I got my Gypsy or Mary Poppins tickets from them. I read this blog that said one of the biggest mistakes visitors to NYC make is standing in that damn line when you can have a coupon code! I wasn't about to waste a second!

Thank you for reading, and YAY theater!