I won’t be posting much the next few days because I am vacationing in New York. We usually do at least 2 or 3 long weekends a year in the City and this is one of them…
I know you’re not supposed to tell people when you are out-of-town, but we have a house sitter and an alarm system, so I’m hoping the alarm will stop them, the pets will attach them and the house sitter will shoot them if anyone tries to break in…I’ll take the chance for some time in New York.
Let me start by saying, for once, the journey up on USAirways was relatively smooth- which is exceedingly rare nowadays. Of course, my expectations are lowered. As long as we get to the original destination within a couple of hours of the scheduled time, without crashing and with luggage, I accept that as the best-case scenario.
Given this, It didn’t faze me that before we left they told us the plane’s bathroom was broken, so if you had to go to the bathroom, go before you boarded. I’m just surprised they didn’t use this as an excuse to cancel the flight. But then, it was a full flight and they probably just wanted the money. If it hadn’t been full, I’m sure they would have canceled.
My biggest issue was that at least a third of my fellow passengers were wearing flip-flops. Those who read this blog know this is a pet peeve of mine- people who wear flip-flops on airplanes and in other inappropriate places. Not to mention on an airplane on a flight to New York City. Doesn’t get much more inappropriate than that- short of the White House.
Who in their right frigging mind would wear flip-flops in New York City? That’s like walking barefoot down Broadway. That’s just nasty, unsanitary and unsafe.
Don’t get me wrong, I love flip-flops, I own flip-flops, I wear flip-flops, but I know when and where to do so. It’s inappropriate use of flip-flops that make me crazy. If the plane crashed, do you want to try to escape through fire and hot metal wearing little pieces of rubber on your feet? If they didn’t fall off on impact? Talk about slack-jawed idiots.
And there are pages of articles on the web about how unsanitary and unsafe it is to wear flip-flops in New York. Just Google “Flip Flops in New York City.”
I’ll rest my case and I’ll try to move on…
After a pleasant cab ride into the City, I got to the hotel and made my first of three attempts to check in.
First, the room wasn’t ready, so I went to lunch. Since I was carrying my messenger bag crammed full of all my electronics: iPod, Bose Headphones, 2 cell phones, MacBook Air and Kindle, I didn’t want to go far. That was too much crap to schlepp all over town.
So, I had to break one of my rules and eat in Mid town. Tourist trap food. Over priced. Not very good. Mid town.
I ate at a trendy little place on 8th Avenue and ordered a Beet and Grilled Shrimp Salad. It was 4 shrimp, 3 cubes of beets and a couple of lettuce leaves for $14.95. Never eat in Mid town unless you know the place or it’s an old diner…..I paid for my sins.
Try two, I actually got my room, but no key cards. The machine was broken so the bellman had to let me in. This was after standing in line for 20 minutes just like the first time. Anyway, I got my room, unpacked and went off to get theatre tickets. I got great orchestra seats for us to “Catch Me If You Can” at the Neil Simon Theatre. Once I got back to the hotel, they had finally fixed the key machine and after a third 20 minute wait in line, I finally had both a room and keys to it.
I settled in to wait for my partner Steve to get here from the East Village where he is wrapping up a seminar at NYU and once he arrived, it was off to the theatre.
I had read mixed reviews of “Catch Me If You Can”, but had seen some scenes on YouTube and the Tony’s broadcast, so we decided to give it a shot. Especially since we had discount coupons.
Another rule: Never pay full price for theatre. Going to the theatre is like flying. On the plane, everyone paid a different price for their seats. Same in the theater. If you know where to look, you can get in for less than the posted price. It’s the only way we can see as many shows as we do. We do have to miss some until they cool off- there are no discounts for “Book of Mormon” right now and we aren’t about to pay $375 for two tickets to a show with no stars. Even we have limits…
Anyway, “Catch Me If you Can” was a delight. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great homage to the spirit of hope and innocence of the early 1960’s. It had a kind of Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin Rat Pack feel. Great choreography. Excellent music and lyrics playing to the various early 1960’s sounds. And uniformly excellent performances- especially by Tony Award Winner Norbert Leo Butz, leading man Aaron Tveit, Tom Wopat and Kerry Butler.
Aaron Tveit should definitely been nominated for the Tony. He carries the show. Norbert Leo Butz, in what is really a supporting role, steals it. Kerry Butler, with the 11 o’clock number stops it and Tom Wopat proves again how far he’s come from the “Dukes of Hazard” to being one of the most consistently excellent actors on Broadway.
The problem was the book. It took a while to draw us in, but about a third of the way through the first act, it had us hooked. There is lot’s of glitz in the first act, but in the second act, it finds its heart and soul. That surprised me as so many shows fall apart in the second act. But in this one, that’s the stronger act.
I really recommend you see this show if you come to New York and are looking for one new musical to see. And if you miss it in New York, see it on tour. This is better than the Critics led us to believe. Just be prepared for a somewhat slow start, then hold on for a great ride in the theatre. You won’t regret it once it gets going…It’s thoroughly engaging…
Here are some scenes, then I’ll sign off for now.
More to come..