Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Quick and pitch perfect trip to New York

Spot at 112th Street
I liked the Dear Evan Hansen cast album that Katie played for me, but I didn't totally get it until we saw the Tony-Award-winning show last week. I am as in love as the next person with the soon-to-depart star, Ben Platt. And am grateful once again that my theater scout is up to date on what's great. And that she got the tickets (a teeny bit over market price) for before Platt departs on Nov. 19.

Hilton Als wrote in the New Yorker, "Ben Platt’s characterization of Evan is almost beyond belief, one of those supersonic performances that make you sit up in your chair and wonder if you’re actually hearing and seeing what he’s doing. "

This wonderful show of course will go on without him, with the rest of the cast is staying on. It will be interesting to hear how his replacements do.

Outside the Music Box Theater
Katie and I had arranged to meet in New York on Thursday, the day of the show, with Katie flying in from Minneapolis. Due to the pouring rain, I dismissed the idea of driving part way and taking a train from Fairfield. It seemed easier to drive straight in despite whatever road conditions I might encounter; lugging around my stuff and switching trains and going to and from a station seemed too much. (Yes, for some reason even for two days I end up with too much stuff.)

Driving in the rain wasn't fun, but right around when I entered New York, the skies started to clear. We were staying at a friend's beautiful Upper West Side apartment, so I came down the West Side highway instead of how I usually come in, from the east. As I was approaching, Katie called from our agreed meeting place, Tom's Restaurant of Seinfeld fame. I made one pass around the block, and, lo and behold, a car pulled out in front of me, opening a beautiful spot that was "good for tomorrow" on 112th Street between Riverside and Broadway. It was a little more than two blocks from where we were staying.

Katie, Serena and me on subway
Free parking in New York. What more do I need to say? My own parking karma gets me a lot of good spaces, but I also think my father opens them up for me. So I looked above and said, "Thank you, Dad."

I walked about a block and met Katie at the counter at Tom's. She gave me a present: a package of tissues for the tears I was sure to shed at the evening's performance.

Last row seats didn't matter
We had a few hours. Our cousin Serena came over with her beautiful baby. Then we got on the subway and got off at different stops, Serena to go to her apartment and Katie and I to our pre-theater standby, Joe Allen's. I have to admit that all the times going there, I didn't notice that the posters on the walls were from Broadway flops, hence, the Joe Allen infamous flop wall. Katie pointed this out.

Over at the Music Box Theater, you could feel the anticipation coming from the people on the cancellation line and from those going in. We had back row seats, but it didn't matter. The audience applauded like crazy when Platt came onto the stage. It didn't take long for me to understand what the fuss has been about. I was as entranced as the woman next to us who kept saying, "What a beautiful voice."

That night we had musical-induced insomnia, staying up late eating cheesecake from Junior's and looking up all things Ben Platt...including one of the Pitch Perfect movies with only Ben Platt scenes (Platt Perfect).

We went back to South Hadley on Saturday via Fairfield, where we stopped for bagels and a nice visit with Nell, Ben and Callen.  It was hard to give up that parking space, but we felt gratified that we were making someone else feel good because of the smile on the face of the lucky driver who asked if we were going out.

On the way back we listened to the cast album. I also bought it so I could hear it on my phone. You have to be vigilant about overload if you listen to the same thing over and over. But I'm not there yet.

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