Theatre Review: Sweat, Studio 54, NYC

After seeing nine musicals in a row, I thought it was time for some theatre. It was between this one, A Doll’s House Part 2 and Little Foxes, but this is the one that had rush seating available. It’s gotten pretty rave reviews, though a mediocre one in the NYT. I wasn’t sure what to expect, though its winning the Pulitzer Prize this year gave me some high hopes.

It’s an ensemble piece, mostly set around a neighbourhood bar, by Lynn Nottage, and set in the span of about a decade of decline in the industrial belt of Pennsylvania, factories shutting down (and moving to Mexico), labour strikes, NAFTA, unemployment, various addictions and a terrible incident that forms the basis of the play: what happened, and how did the characters at the end of the play get there?

I’m used to my theatre being heightened and unnatural as a way to get more deeply at our natural emotions. So, I was a bit disarmed at the regular talk of the characters. It’s not played for laughs, and there were few. There’s no particular poetry in the speech. Characters get our attention by getting louder and louder, and there’s a lot of shouting going on.

While the play has been lauded at its realistic portrayal of ‘voices that are unheard’ (i.e. the disenfranchised and ignored, Trump voters), I could feel sympathy for their situations but didn’t feel a lot of empathy. The Tony-nominated performance by Johanna Day as Tracey does feel honest, but she’s not a kind person nor unkind in an interesting way. I felt more interest in Michelle Wilson (also nominated) as Cynthia, but Tracey’s resentment of Cynthia’s job promotion doesn’t shift. She shows no understanding nor sympathy, nor can tap into their former friendship to create change. And while I admired Cynthia’s toughness and hard work, I just felt frustration that her character was stuck as she was, and then doesn’t get a break at the end of the play either.

Most of the characters are trapped by circumstance, health and finances. There are some glimmers of hope and kindness, but it’s a pretty sour situation all around. I was mostly engaged with the skill of the actors in doing quick shifts in personality or emotional state between scenes; particularly impressive are the younger male actors, Khris Davis and Will Pullen, in showing a light friendship between bros, with quick shifts to the later date where they are deeply broken.

Still, I’m not unhappy that I saw this play, which at its heart is saying: look at what has been happening in this corner of America. I just wish I could have found a bit more hope there.

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Big Apple Food Adventures: Parm, Lower East Side

My family has always been obsessed with food shows, so it’s no surprise my Mom flips to the Food Channel while we’re in New York City. One of her favourites is on, Andrew Zimmern, with a show called Bizarre Foods Delicious Destinations, and the show is about Manhattan. He extols the virtues of American meatballs, and there’s a feature with two brothers down on Mulberry Street making big meatballs and fresh pasta and it looks delicious. But there’s something in their business model that since this was a recent episode, they don’t seem to list the names of the businesses they feature. ANYWHERE. I tried asking him for the name on Twitter with no reply, and did many searches on Google, but can’t figure out which restaurant it was. Oh well. It got meatballs on my mind though, and so I stumbled upon Parm down on Mulberry Street.

I loved the simplicity of the menu, and not being super hungry, I went for the meatball roll ($10) along with a delicious glass of Montepulciano ($11). The meatball wasn’t particularly dense, nor super light. It was right in between with a good bouncy texture, with a pretty neutral taste and seasoning. But: with a generous slice of melted high quality mozzarella on top, and some really tasty tomato sauce (with a nice hamburger bun and a basil leaf), this was a specific combination that I’m not familiar with. And I loved it. Yum!

Parm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Review: Come From Away, Gerald Schoenfield Theatre, NYC

I’m fascinated by the phenomenon of Come From Away. It’s a mighty good story (if you don’t know, about how a small town in Canada ended up hosting over many days thousands of stranded passengers who had been rerouted after 9/11). It’s gotten huge word of mouth and the official publicity too, like Justin Trudeau taking Ivanka Trump to… was it the opening?

It also seems like a canny commercial plot. The musical is likely to draw in every Canadian visitor to Broadway (and we are numerous) and then New Yorkers, as far as I can tell, love to see shows about themselves… But of course, the material has to be good to continue to draw them in, and it seems to be one of the top musicals on Broadway right now. I was also intrigued that the NYT reviewers, while complimentary in the official review, get a bit snarky in their review of Tony nominees, with Jesse Green calling it ‘little more than an evening of Canadian civic boosterism’ and Ben Brantley ‘a work of efficient sentimental manipulation’.

I worried a bit about this too, considering the subject matter, but right from the start, I thought it was far too quirky and honest to deserve Green’s criticism (although I’d probably agree with Brantley’s). To portray small-town Canada with odd accents intact and propelled with a musical backbone from the Maritimes seemed pretty honest to me; and the various details of the script (based on real interviews and people, or composite characters) felt strange enough and true enough to provide an originality to the piece.

I liked that the musical is ensemble-driven, with all the cast playing multiple parts; I thought there was a good combination of light and dark, and the comedy not too broad. The music was pretty catchy and somewhat memorable. It was great to see a range of actors who looked like real people. The themes – hospitality and kindness to strangers – are more pertinent than ever, and the age of terror started with 9/11 is still with us. So, it feels like this musical has legs… and many people agree with me… and in the end, I was even successfully emotionally manipulated to feel bit proud of the country I was born in.

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Book Review: Bill Hayes’s Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and MeInsomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This would be a good book to read on any occasion but takes on more resonance if you have a connection with New York City, or happen to choose it to read while travelling in New York City, as I did.

Because of the advance publicity, I thought that there might be more of a focus on Bill’s relationship with Oliver Sacks, and certainly, that is a thread that runs through the book, honest and sweet anecdotes and recall of their meeting, relationship and Sacks’s death. While it provides a story and narrative, Hayes doesn’t seem to be trying to do more then share these moments of their life together. It is obvious that Hayes delights in Sacks’s originality and intellect but it doesn’t feel like there is mythmaking or elevation here. Similarly, for an autobiography of sorts, there seems to be little ego involved; we get to know Hayes, certainly, but, as it seems he is likely to do in real-life, he often shifts the focus away from himself.

As large a part of the book is a love letter to New York City, as we follow Hayes in his conversations on subways rides, and his various photo-taking adventures, as well as people in the neighbourhood, or other friends. As I was reading the book on my iPad, mostly while riding around subways in New York City, it made me look up and observe the people around me and wonder at their stories, and feel engaged with and amused by the city and its citizens.

My only quibble is that occasionally Hayes described taking a photo which wasn’t one of the many included in the book; I suppose I’ll have to search around his website!

But otherwise, I thought this was a lovely and beautiful book: more than just enjoyable, there were many moments simple and profound. I felt as a reader lucky to have them shared with me.

View all my reviews

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2017 in lists (Concerts & shows, theatre, books, movies, TV)

(Obviously, a work in progress…)

Concerts, Shows, Theatre & Words

  • Ladies in Black, Lyric Theatre, January: An Australian homegrown musical with music by Tim Finn of Crowded House, this show got great reviews when it was being developed a year go… though the reviews of this run, for the Sydney Festival, have been decidedly mediocre. There’s just not much originality and punch in the storyline, a young woman trying to find her way in the world. She sings about finding herself and overcoming fear, much like any musical heroine. When I’d first read about rules for writing songs in musicals, the number one rule was to show what was happening, but not say it. So each time I heard characters plainly sing ‘I’m happy’, ‘I’m sad’, ‘I’m sterile’… I cringed. The biggest attraction of the musical seemed to be its references to Australia, now and in the 50s, and the audience lapped it up. And it wasn’t terrible overall, it just could have been much better.
  • Nude: Live, AGNSW, January: Seven members of the Sydney Dance Company, solo and in groups, dancing, nude, in front of extraordinary art, and in an immersive “Sleep No More” fashion where spectators move in and out of rooms, and view the dance at different angles. Fabulous.
  • Jann Tiersen, Sydney Opera House, January: Amazing French musician and composer, best known for the Amelie soundtrack. I thought his music intricate and beautiful. Just as amusing was his complete lack of engagement or interest in the audience, which gave him rapturous appreciation. He’s all about the music!
  • Tomboy Survival Guide, Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival, January: Wow. Ivan Coyote and friends, and a wonderful show of spoken word performance backed up by a cool band (and some music and singing too). Witty, poetic, funny and most of all honest. The universal feeling of not fitting in matched with an introduction to a very different world. Loved it. Amazing.
  • Cabaret, Hayes Theatre, February: It seems to be getting mixed reviews, but I liked it. Incredible performers. Perhaps a little frantic (and Paul Capsis’s interpretation of the emcee is more than terrifying), but an apt production for these present times.
  • A night with David Helfgott, Sir Stamford Hotel, March. Review here. 
  • James Vincent McMorrow, Sydney Opera House, March. I love this guy. Love the voice. Love the music.
  • Andrew Bird, Sydney Opera House, April. Has it really been so long since I first started listening to Andrew Bird (Noble Beast, 2009)? Yup. This concert tour sees him playing with a band of three others. At times, with his flexible, lazy voice, and all the fiddling, it could be bluegrass Americana, but then the violin takes on almost classical tones, and the insistent plucking of violin strings that he uses as his most common percussive background, plus his virtuoso whistling, all takes this music into completely original territory. Plus his playful and complex lyrics, and a few self-deprecating anecdotes, had me as transported as the first time I saw him. Last time we saw, my pal M called him a ‘mad genius’ (it was a solo show, with much more looping). He still seems like a mad genius, really. I think the extra band members lifts the energy, though makes the show feel slightly less personal.
  • Sydney Dance Company, Orb and Ocho: An amazing double-bill. Quite different than what I’ve seen from them before. Loved both pieces. 
  • Sweeney Todd, Barrow Street, NYC: Holy cow what an amazing show. Review here.
  • Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company, NYC. Review here.
  • Amelie, Walter Kerr, NYC. Review here.
  • Waitress, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, NYC. Review here.
  • Hello, Dolly! Shubert Theatre, NYC. Review here.
  • Sunset Boulevard, Palace Theatre, NYC. Review here.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, NYC. Review here.
  • Dear Evan Hansen, Music Box Theatre, NYC. Review here.
  • Come from Away, NYC. Review here.
  • Sweat, Studio 54, NYC. Review here.
  • Groundhog Day, NYC. Review here.
  • Only Heaven Knows, Hayes Theatre, Sydney. A homegrown Australian musical from 1988 written about the 40s and 50s. Interesting.

Exhibitions

  • Nude: Art from the Tate collection, AGNSW: Such an amazing variety of images and sculpture, and what a story is told, from the heroes and gods to women bathing and then artists painting themselves or pushing boundaries. A compact and very interesting exhibition and the way they’ve lit and placed Rodin’s The Kiss was awesome.
  • Guggenheim Museum: ‘Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim’; ‘Thannhauser Collection’; ‘Brancusi’; Jackson Pollack’s Alchemy; Anicka Yi’s Life is Cheap.
  • Whitney Museum: ‘Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s’; ‘Where we are: Selections 1900–1960’; Whitney Biennial 2017.
  • MoMA, NYC: Robert Rauschenberg, Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction,
  • American Museum of Natural History: I liked the meterorites and gems the best
  • The Met: Rei Kawakubo, Age of Empires (Han & Qin Dynasty art), Y. G. Srimati and the Indian Style, Chinese Hardstone Carvings

Books

  • The Collected Stories of Mavis Gallant (short fiction):  I started this last year, and took a long break, and finally finished it in January while travelling. Still trying to get my head around it. 
  • Peter Ho Davies’ The Fortunes (fiction)
  • Berndt Sellheim’s Awake at the Wheel (poetry)
  • Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You (fiction)
  • Viet Than Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (fiction)
  • Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air (autobiography)
  • Richard Siken’s Crush (poetry)
  • Jonathan Galessi’s Muse (fiction) – except it was so terrible I couldn’t finish it.
  • Susan Cain’s Quiet (non-fiction)
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me (non-fiction)
  • Edmund White’s Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris (biography)
  • Bill Hayes’s Insomniac City: New York, Oliver and Me (biography)
  • Jack Viertal’s The Secret Life of the American Musical (non-fiction)

Movies

  • Bridget Jones’s Baby: OK. I’m a fan of Bridget Jones. I didn’t see the last one which sounded terrible, but really, this was just fine for airplane viewing.
  • La La Land: I liked it. It was fun and engaging, and romantic. The two leads are charismatic. I liked that the tone of the fantasy ending was bittersweet. I’d rather have films winning awards that have a stronger message than nostalgia and entertainment but…
  • Moonlight: Review here. Amazing.
  • The Great Wall: Surprisingly, not terrible. Review here.
  • Miss Sloane: Review here.
  • Arrival: I thought this was a really interesting and beautiful film; great ideas; and putting a women linguist as the hero: loved it.
  • Captain Fantastic: An odd film with some terrific performances. Not sure whether I really liked the story or not!
  • Sing!: Man, this got mediocre or bad reviews, but singing, animated animals. I can’t help myself. I liked it.
  • Lion: Pretty good, I thought, though I’m not sure I was as taken with it as the rest of the world. Nice to see Dev Patel grown up and playing a mature part.

Television

  • Transparent, Seasons 1, 2 and 3: How did TV become better than movies? Truthful, funny and frantic.
  • The Crown: Amazing TV.
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 9
  • Survivor, Season 34
  • Survivor, Season 32 (missed this one when it came around)

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Review: Hotel Pennsylvania, NYC

This hotel has received the worst reviews that I’ve ever read. Period. They are so terrible as to be comical, and yet, since my mother booked this hotel for our five-night stay in New York City, non-refundable, without checking with me first, it has caused me no small amount of anxiety.

Right across from Penn Station and Madison Gardens. You can see the entrance on the right.

Hotels are so expensive in NYC that when this pop-up ad appeared in her browser, and she saw that the Hotel Pennsylvania was centrally located (it is mentioned in reviews often that reviewers consider the location the only good thing) and the cheapest deal she could find, she booked it.

I’ve shared this hilarity with friends and family members, who have taken to reading the reviews regularly. The amazing thing is that the bad reviews keep coming. This isn’t a one-time thing. They appear every day. My pal, John, sent me this morsel:

First time in NY for business I was so disappointed. It was DISGUSTING !!! Most of their personnel were not pleasant except one guy (who didn’t seem surprised I wanted to be reimbursed)!… My room was a non smoking room but I found cigarette butts next to my bed…. The room was sooo dirty as well as the bathroom (rusty, dirty, moldy, towels with old hairs in…)… I was meant to have a “renovated” room, the photos on the website were nice but apparently a big JOKE. I can’t even believe a hotel like that is even open… the hallways smelt, dirty windows (I could hardly see out my window), thin walls! Met a girl who had a RAT in her room !!! Everyone I spoke to wasn’t pleased… Seriously do not stay at this hotel !!!!

In fact, this is a recurring theme. Not in every review, but say every 15 or 20 or so, someone has had a rat in their room. Or more often they try to check into their room and there are still people in it, or it isn’t made up, or they were unable to resolve a complaint with the staff, or they were really, really disturbed at the dirt or how run-down the place is. I’ve been singing snippets of ‘Hotel California’ in the days leading up to checking in (‘such a lovely place, such a lovely place… you can check-out any time you like but you can never leave’).

So, here’s my review: the hotel is huge. In fact, it’s the fourth largest hotel in New York City with 1,700 rooms. It has a huge lobby, which is clean and shiny, but with so many people in it at all times, it looks like a train station.

There are often lines out the door to check-in, hundreds of people, apparently, who are too tired from travelling to try their luck with the automated check-in machines. I’d heard that the rooms on the upper floors are renovated and marginally better though others have said don’t pay for an upgrade, because it’s not worth it. A friend suggested bribing whoever was at check-in for a better room.

Instead, there was a short line when I checked in (exactly at 3pm, hoping I’d have good luck). I laid out all my charm, and dropped the hint that it was my 82-year-old mom’s first time in NYC and boy, were we excited! The woman at check-in recommended a fifth floor room, which would have bigger beds. I did ask whether the top floors weren’t more comfortable but she said the fifth floor was fine.

Ascending one of the dozen elevators (necessary, with so many people; sometimes there’s a wait to get up and down, and we often needed to wait for an elevator with space), the floors of the hotel are a bit rundown and certainly old style.

In the dim light, I can see what reviewers say about it looking a bit Bates Motel. The effect is added when you find these weird metal shields on each door. What are these?

The area around the bathroom door is damaged and ugly and there is some damage inside the bathroom. I had to wipe off a bit of either mucus or blood from the shower curtain and wall. The shower has had the opposite problem to the other hotels I’ve stayed at in NYC. Instead of there being too little pressure, this one is so strong, I’m surprised to not have to call out search and rescue to find my mother who has been washed away into the Hudson River. But there are no rats in the room.

And there are nasty marks and damage around some of the walls… and there’s a terrible smell in the hallway and in the entrance to the room, perhaps some disinfectant, or something else. But there are no rats in our room.

And the windows are so dirty, it’s hard to tell the weather outside. And I had to clean the window sills before I could put anything on them, because they were dusty and dirty. But there are no rats in our room.

The walls indeed are thin. The neighbours on the first afternoon felt like they were in the room, and then again… at 3am. But miraculously, after that, we didn’t hear the neighbours at all. And there are no rats in our room.

And then, consider: the room is big. The beds are at least double beds, perhaps short queen-sized. Mom’s bed is fine. The mattress on mine is uneven and squeaky. But the TV is big and it’s a perfectly fine place to spend time when not exploring the city, and even though the hotel literature says that you have to pay for wireless, they give you a password, so it’s free!

Also, a rather big surprise. I was expecting the fitness centre to be terrible (just because) and it’s big and functional. You can apparently also use a nearby fitness centre for a nominal cost.

The wonderful thing about having one’s expectations lowered so much is that you’re happy when the worst doesn’t happen. So why so many terrible reviews? I can guess that when people have OK experiences with the hotel, they are less likely to review it. The sheer number of people coming in and out means that there are a lot of people who may give the place a bad review. It’s such an international clientele here, that I wonder whether the Indians and Spanish speakers and Europeans would be less likely to either leave reviews at all or use the same review sites (I’ve been mainly checking Trip Advisor).

In any case, for the price, and because there are no rats (or bedbugs) in the room, I’m happy with our stay here. As reported, the location is perfect. Easy to get trains, to walk everywhere, and to get to Newark Airport since it’s next to Penn Station.

Would I recommend it? Hell no! But hey: There weren’t any rats in the room.

On the other hand, there are rats all over NYC

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Big Apple Food Adventures: Cho Dang Gol, Gramercy

NYC is a city of extremes, that’s clear, and it applies to food too. Blink your eyes and you’ve been served a plate of greasy carbs, the size of your head, or stumble, without much planning, into a restaurant that offers ridiculous culinary pleasure.

Cho Dang Gol’s special claim to fame is making homemade tofu since 1997, I think it is. It’s unlike tofu I’ve had before: with a texture that’s a bit lumpy and with some spring in it, like a soft cheese, but in a pleasant way. Without the uniform consistency and texture of the usual blocks of tofu, it really does taste homemade. You get a little bowl each as a complimentary appetizer.

We went totally Chinese diaspora in the ordering, and thought we’d ordered way too much, but hey, we’re good eaters. The egg crepe with cod roe and green tea mayonnaise was amazing. The jap chae lovely and unctious. The tofu and vegetable stew was delicious. The cod pancakes were amazing, almost like a cod omelette, mostly cod, very little batter. Loved the pork belly dish with spicy kim chee and picked radish. The crowning glory was the Korean Fried Chicken. I’d had quite a bit of KFC in my time, but this was the best. Light and crispy, super tender, and some mysterious spice. Really crispy in an addictive way, but without tasting over-battered. Not sure how they do that.

The big surprise, aside from how totally amazing the food was, ended up to be the bill. $120 before tax and tip, for the four of us, ordering so many dishes that they didn’t fit on the table, and two beers. That’s one of the cheapest meals I’ve had in this very expensive city. This will go on my recommendation list for anyone visiting NYC…

(The photos do not do this place justice. When I’m with groups of people, I usually take less photos. Food blogging is not for everyone. But as I said, I would recommend this place to anyone.)

Cho Dang Gol Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Big Apple Food Adventures: Atoboy, NoMad

I stumbled across this review in the NYT by Pete Wells who I totally adore. Ignacio and Kieran were game to try it and we had a late night meal here on a Tuesday night. Hooley dooley, as the say in Australia as an expression of Australia: this was a great meal.

Food that you’re unfamiliar with, and that hasn’t been dumbed down, can be confusing: how to choose among unfamiliar dishes and ingredients; how much to order? But they make it easy, in this cool, elegant, concrete space, hidden away in NoMad (so hidden I couldn’t figure out where Google Maps was pointing me towards). Choose three courses per person, and choose one each from each of the three sections (for $36 each). Simple!

Each dish was delicate, with flavours and textures that were slightly unfamiliar: sunchoke with oyster mushrooms and orange, sea bass tartare, lotus root, chili oil and sesame , I think every dish elicited an outward expression of praise. The octopus was a favourite (photo at the top), not only because it was so pretty. And we even made space for dessert: ginger panna cotta with grapefruit and a strange granita spooned over burrata with lychee yogurt and candied walnuts.

Loved this meal. Interesting. Exciting. Tasty.

Atoboy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Big Apple Food Adventures: Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter

What is Soul Food? I wasn’t sure but I wanted to try some. Alphabet City in the East Village seemed closer to Kips Bay than Harlem, so I headed down to Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter at 94 Avenue C.

It’s fun to explore a new area of the city: so many cool looking bars and restaurants, lots of buzz in the streets at 7:30pm on a Wednesday night.

I was glad that Bobwhite’s had space for me, and I grabbed a seat at the counter. It’s a very simple menu: chicken, catfish, a few sides. I grabbed me the catfish with a pinot grigio, and it came, as you can see with a perfect biscuit, and I chose the macaroni and cheese which was perfectly tasty. The catfish surprised me: it tasted light and delicate and was delicately crisp. With lemon and the tartar sauce, it was yum.

And all up, this was rather cheaper than most expensive meals I’ve had in this city, $20 all up for a generous main and a glass of wine. Soul food is obviously just good for the soul. So glad I found this place.

Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Theatre Review: Dear Evan Hansen, Music Box Theatre, NYC

Sniff. I’m wrecked. In a good way. I’ve been crying my way through Dear Evan Hansen.

There are a lot of heartstrings being pulled here. It touches on some pretty universal themes: not fitting in, loneliness, acceptance, the bonds and conflicts between family members. It imbues them both with a unique spin which feels like it’s individual, and yet the broad strokes of the story – a small lie that turns into a big one, the speed of how stories and emotions play out in social media – almost feel operatic.

The story, of course, is held together by the extraordinary performance of Ben Platt in the lead role: charming, vulnerable and quirky, yet the supporting cast are also amazing. With a few hours of retrospection (and reminded of this article in the NYT about Ben Platt), there’s just this amazing vulnerability and relatability about Platt’s creation of Evan Hansen. I felt like crying and hugging him, and yet, I cried for all the parts of me that have felt like this character: out of place, tapping on the window to be let in, sad and awkward. This is not like a regular musical where a character transforms into from awkward Elphaba in Wicked to the powerful Elphaba… Evan Hansen is as vulnerable at the end of the show as at the start, and his problems aren’t solved; he’s just further along his journey and his gift, his beauty, is how his heart is cracked open but continues to beat.

Meanwhile, I love the pop-Broadway sensibility of the score. It just goes right into my heart. A few of the songs, for me, are worth the price of admission already: Waving through a Window and Words Fail. The Broadway trick of singing about one thing (a baseball glove) to talk about something else (perseverance) works perfectly in this show (for an example of the opposite, see song about figs from Amelie). Similarly, I’d heard about the show-stopping So Big / So Small sung by Evan’s mom, and assumed it would be a directly emotional mom to son song, so was impressed with the storytelling of it. I sat next to a row of weeping mothers (and I was too). Sadly, one of the big numbers, You Will Be Found, is kind of exactly like Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn (try it out, you can hum it all the way through the song). But that’s a minor quibble.

I was so happy to be able to see this show.

How it came about is worth a small story. We did try a week or two to check out the standing room only tickets (they go on sale at 10am) but it seems like the only ones available go to people who have been waiting for MANY hours beforehand (at least from 6am I think). I’d heard about the queue for cancellations, and to wait a few hours before the show opens, but I couldn’t exactly figure out what to do. I went by on a Wednesday morning at 10:30am. Saw a queue, which I assumed was for cancellations. Waited for a while, not quite knowing what to do, and then a fellow who had won tickets in the lottery was trying to sell off one of his pair. Front row, all the way to the side. Yes, the view was a bit restricted but we got a booster cushion from the usher which worked fine. Sometimes the actors were singing away from us, but I really loved being so close to see the actors’ expressions. $200. Well worth it, I’d say, since the only available tickets that I’ve seen online lately have between $285 and $500. Hurrah. Where there’s a will?

Posted in NYC, Theatre/Concert Review | 2 Comments