Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Regards to Broadway - Part II

Posted by Bruce Miller
Any sane person would see three NYC shows in as many days and call it a night—for financial reasons if nothing else. Even at the TKTS booth—which now offers more 30% off and 40% off discounts than the previously standard 50% off—you still wind up averaging $80 to $90 per ticket. Even Off Broadway—which in the good old days of my thirties and forties could be counted on for some real bargains—you still can expect to lay out between $60 and $70 for a popular hit.

But we insane theatre junkies don’t know the meaning of moderation. And so my show attending saga continues.

On Saturday afternoon, Hannah and I caught a matinee of Avenue Q, which despite its long and successful run we had yet to see. Terrie and Curt did the sensible thing and went shopping at the street fairs in Greenwich Village and elsewhere.

Hannah and I agreed on our opinion of AQ. We both found it overrated and a little too reliant on frat boy humor for our tastes. But in the interest of full disclosure, let me quickly say that the audience that surrounded us seemed to think it was hilarious. Every ribald turn of phrase generated a laff riot.

Hannah loved 9 to 5 so much she went to see it a second time with Terrie on Saturday night. And both of the Miller women LOVED it.

Curt and I scored a pair of great Saturday night specials for Jersey Boys, paying cash to one of the street brokers. Since we bought them at the last minute, I was able to talk the vendor down to a hundred bucks each, as opposed to the printed price of $126. Street brokers normally sell at the printed price. Can you believe it, talking about a $100 ticket as if it were a bargain?!

But, the Miller men LOVED Jersey Boys. I loved reliving the songs of my youth, and Curt—my rock star in the making—thought the story was pretty cool. Male bonding Broadway style.

Sunday matinee Hannah and I went to see the revival of Hair. More than in most instances, I realized how much you really needed to have lived through the time period of the show in order for it to make any visceral sense. I think Hannah appreciated the music but sort of wondered what the fuss was all about. I actually found myself shedding a tear when Claude contemplated burning his draft card during What a Piece of Work is Man. Been there, brother. Just like you, I didn't burn mine either. And the final coup de theatre at the end of the show blew me away.

Lucky for us, we saved our favorite show of the theatre marathon for last. Our Town, Barrow Street Theatre, Off Broadway. What a GREAT revival. You’re in a teeny tiny theatre, and the action takes place all around you and about three feet from your elbows, and there is very little scenery or lighting or sound. And yet the acting, direction and brilliant script absolutely transport you to Grovers Corner. As fate would have it we saw director/actor David Cromer's final performance as the Stage Manager (in pic to left), and were privileged to be in the audience for all the heartfelt speech making after the final call.

We laughed, we cried, it was better than Cats.

So that’s it in a nutshell. Parts I and II. Seven shows in five days.
And here’s the kicker. I’ve only been home a couple weeks, and already, I can’t wait to go back.

See you at the theatre!

--Bruce Miller

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