Monday, February 29, 2016


What I saw: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime," at the Barrymore Theater on 47th between 8th Avenue and Broadway

What I wore: rust corduroys (with stretch!) and Chinese-made Australian boots
What I did beforehand: ate remarkably mediocre Thai food
Who went with me: R., a twenty-something friend
How I got tickets: online, full price
Why I saw this show: my cousin L. suggested it on FB
Where I sat: in a prime number seat, third row orchestra

Things that were sad: graphic depictions of the struggles of a young man in the autism spectrum, with a side serving of family dysfunction
Things that were funny: the main character has the blunt charm sometimes found in the personalities of high-functioning people in the autism spectrum
Things that were not funny: Why oh why do we only get books and plays and movies about disabled people if they have nearly inhuman superpowers? Dear Readers, not every high-functioning, neuro-atypical person in the autism spectrum is a math whiz!

What it is: a Tony-award-winning play, adapted with care and accuracy from the young adult novel of the same name. Probably the most intricate production I have seen since I started the “What I Saw” blogs.

Who should see it: parents of frustrating children, teens who appreciate an outsider-narrator, fans of pet rats, math nerds (stay past curtain call), anyone who saw “but I cd only whisper” earlier in the week for a two-part spectacle of low-budget vs. high-budget theatrical depictions of perceptual storm on the part of a main character (and then let’s get coffee to discuss)

What I saw on the way home: cold, sizzling rain on the pavement and distant lightning illuminating the sky of Hell’s Kitchen

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I saw "but i cd only whisper"

What I saw: “but I cd only whisper” at the Flea Theater, on the south side of White Street in TriBeCa
What I wore: American-made dark-wash jeans (with stretch!), Chinese-made Australian boots

Sunset O'clock

What I did beforehand: watched the sunset over the Hudson River and took the E train
Who went with me: The Graduate
How I got tickets: online, full price

Why I saw this show: for two years, we lived in TriBeCa, two doors down from the rehearsal space for the Flea Theater. Not long after we moved in, I saw a line of people outside the door, waiting to audition for the Bats, which is the name of the Flea’s ensemble of actors. Some looked bored or tired, many were reading, one mumbling a monologue. Some actually sat on the sidewalk. They were there for several days, and the line was sometimes long. I wondered if I could bake them brownies or if that would be weird. I let one guy pet my dog. In retrospect I should have baked them brownies. Far more actors showed up over those days than would ever be chosen as Bats. New York is tough that way.

Where I sat: front row
Things that were sad: this is a very upsetting play, about race, class, sanity, responsibility and culpability
Things that were funny: seeing today’s young actors dressed in the clothes the adults wore in the late 60s and early 70s
Things that were not funny: a guy at the bar beforehand had to ask his friend what Diet Coke was. He had an accent.
What it is: an engaging play, performed by talented actors in a small space
Who should see it: if you come to New York to see theater and don't include off-Broadway shows, you are doing it wrong

What I saw on the way home: bros on the subway

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I saw "The Big Sleep"

What I saw: “The Big Sleep,” at home, on our big screen
What I wore: jeans and a cardigan
What I did beforehand: ate pizza that was delivered

The original of this image is in the public domain

Who went with me: the Bacon Provider, my youngest child, both dogs and the cat, Schwartz (he is a big fan of film noir)

How I got tickets: the Bacon Provider streamed it using Vudu on his laptop and airplaying it to our projector; this movie is not available for streaming on Netflix or Hulu, can be rented from Amazon streaming but the website required a Microsoft Silverlight Plug-in and we weren’t sure Airplay would work.

Why I saw this show: my youngest child and I just finished the audiobook, which we enjoyed for its crackling dialog, steady action, and crafty (if not consistently tidy) plotting.

Where I sat: on the couch with Captain and Schwartz and my youngest
Things that were sad: the amount of time it took to figure out how to watch the movie

Things that were funny: seeing for ourselves how well Bogart portrayed Raymond Chandler’s detective Philip Marlowe, watching some of our favorite lines uttered on screen
Things that were not funny: Because this movie was made after Bogart and Bacall had thrilled audiences in “To Have and To Have Not,” Lauren Bacall’s character was expanded and added to a number of extra scenes, to nonsensical effect.

What it is: a classic movie
Who should see it: fans of Raymond Chandler, or Humphrey Bogart, or Lauren Bacall, or mysteries with unexplained loose ends, or old movies

What I saw on the way home: When we turned on the lights, I discovered a huge, engorged tick on Captain’s belly. It is mid-February, and while it may be 2° F outside, it hasn’t stopped the ticks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I saw “Buried Child”

What I saw: Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child” at the Pershing Square Signature Center
What I wore: wool skirt and tights
What I did beforehand: ate shrimp with the legs and heads on at a tapas place
Who went with me:  a close friend
How I got tickets: online, full price

Why I saw this show: I had a good friend in college that I have fallen out of touch with. Her father was a famous American poet (as if that’s a thing people are). I think I have seen her twice since I moved to New York, but she appears not to remember me. I believe the reason I know the name of playwright Sam Shepard is because of this friend. Was she an admirer of his? Did her father know Sam Shepard? She looked right through me when I saw her last, in a cafĂ© in the West Village. I returned the favor to Sam Shepard himself, who was waiting ahead of us to see his play on Wednesday night. I recognized him, and looked right through him.

Where I sat: front row, balcony, in uncomfortable seats that did not improve with uncomfortable subject matter

Things that were sad: everything about “Buried Child” is sad
Things that were funny: almost everything said by the character Dodge, played by Ed Harris, is funny, and he never leaves the stage; corn shucking and carrot peeling; hollering from upstairs
What it is: a masterfully crafted play about family dysfunction, with no intermission
Who should see it: people who like Sam Shepard plays; people who feel like their families don’t know them

What I saw on the way home: empty taxis we didn’t take