Thursday, March 31, 2016

I saw "American Psycho"

What I saw: "American Psycho" at the Schoenfeld Theater on W 45th between 8th and 9th Avenues

What I wore: Chinese-made Australian boots, favorite jeans that are not as comfy when they're clean, purple Eileen Fisher t-shirt and sweater that I usually save to wear on trips but I haven't really been traveling since last May, yellow striped scarf that seems to have a new snag, black Barbour quilted parka that I did not wear at all this winter because it was in the wrong closet. 

What I did beforehand: wholly unnecessary lost-keys panic 

Who went with me: strangers, including Christian Slater

How I got tickets: online just a couple of days ago

Why I saw this show: because I could see it on a Monday and I thought I wouldn't like it 

Where I sat: second row, center

Things that were sad: the 80s are now like this cool, funny era of the past that people seek out the fashions of

Things that were funny: the 80s are now like this cool, funny era of the past that people seek out the fashions of

Things that were not funny: The main character is played by Benjamin Walker, who smolders in his underwear and in his 80s suits, performing with such colossal finesse and restraint he punctuates a song with the slow raising of his eyes. I thought I'd seen the best performance from a male lead already this year, in "Prodigal Son," but this one guy's performance blew my fucking mind. The second act wasn't as strong as the first. Whatever. Oh, but there was blood splashed on the ceiling of the set in the first act, and I kept looking at it in the second act, the way your tongue won't stay away from the gap left by a broken tooth.
It's there.

What it is: a musical, running two hours and forty minutes with an intermission 

Who should see it: people who can tolerate blood spurting at the audience from behind a taught, clear vinyl curtain; anyone who ever wanted to see anyone killed with a kitchen knife or an axe; underwear aficionados; 80s-music lovers; fans of 80s fashion; those with an appreciation for funny horror movies; the fanatical guy who sat behind me who introduced himself to me by quoting lines from the movie; people who need two or more Donald Trump jokes in their musicals. 

What I saw on the way home: it was windy and there was trash all over the Saw Mill Parkway. Plastic bags. Broken chunks of styrofoam. Cups with lids and straws. I hit something and it stayed under my car for many miles, breaking free and making noise in a startling way.

Friday, March 25, 2016

I saw "Juilliard Dances Repertory 2016"

What I saw: "Juilliard Dances Repertory 2016" at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Juilliard, 155 W 65th St

What I wore: black Fluevog boots (the ones I used to teach in), tights, dark wash James Jeans denim skirt, wrinkled ATM blouse, Eileen Fisher long cardigan, woven scarf that my mother gave me in the 90s that might not be charmingly dated

What I did beforehand: ate half a bag of the wrong brand of Mexican Japanese peanuts and some slices of manchego, walked from 45th Street 

Who went with me: the Bacon Provider

How I got tickets: well, they were supposed to be comp'ed, but the night before at like 8:18 p.m. I got this text and he's all, "I still haven't gotten a chance to go find the box office—it may be a good idea to buy them instead so it doesn't sell out! (sorry!)," and I was like, "OK." So I bought them online, and paid full price.

Why I saw this show: The Graduate was a vocal performance major in college, and because he lives in Brooklyn, when he isn't working one of two jobs or going to the climbing gym or making beer, he sometimes still sings, and usually tells me about it about a week beforehand.

Where I sat: way up in the balcony on the end, behind my husband. I had no idea if we were going to be able to see our child singing in the chorus of the Stravinsky piece. The only seats left were on the ends. I gambled.

Things that were sad: The second piece, Jerome Robbins' "Moves," which is performed without musical accompaniment, carried more tension and musicality than Paul Taylor's "Roses," which preceded it. 

Things that were funny: I liked the Stravinsky best.

Things that were not funny: it should not be noteworthy that a dance recital have a real orchestra to accompany them. Live music is better, and live music is a reason to go to the theater. Also, I should not have been distracted with grief at the thought that this talented crop of young dancers will graduate into a world where the organized efforts of certain political forces mean less and less funding for the arts.

What it is: a recital featuring dance students in Juilliard's BFA program. Three numbers were presented. "Roses" was danced to Siegfried's Idyll from Wagner and an adagio for clarinet and strings from Heinrich Baermann; I liked the parts where the dancers rolled around on the stage. "Moves" is a tense and muscular dance for men and women, accompanied only by the sounds of their feet, the slapping of their limbs, and one well-timed sneeze from an audience member. The gender norms of their costumes (women on pointe, men in ballet slippers) made me think about the absurdity of shaved armpits (on the women), and the strictness of the long-hair-in-a-bun-for-women/short-hair-for-men paradigm. 
After the second intermission came the piece we had come to see, "Symphony of Psalms," choreographed by Jiří Kylián. When the chorus filed it, I found that we were in luck, and could see the Graduate standing with the other basses. He is easy to spot these days because he wears the "Männlich bun."  (someone with a German accent shouted that at him in a NY crosswalk). The Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms and A la gloire de Dieu were performed, and were very beautiful. The richness of human voices added a glorious dimension to the final piece.

Who should see it: proud parents 

What I saw on the way home: a panicked field mouse running across the Saw Mill Parkway

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I saw "Hungry" (Part 1)

What I saw: "Hungry (Play 1 of 3 The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family)" at the Public Theater, at 425 Lafayette St in NYC, west of the East Village, East of NYU, south of Union Square, North of Houston St

What I wore: custom black Vogel tall dress boots, safari tan full-seat Pikeur breeches, long-sleeved black polo shirt, zippered Ibex cardigan, Baker-trimmed black quilted jacket

What I did beforehand: rode a horse, drove to the city, ate a bagel, walked to the subway squinting the whole way because I left my sunglasses in the apartment, rode the wrong subway with a guy eating stinky, used the spacious and welcoming bathroom at the theater

Who went with me: my readers

How I got tickets: online, $10 off because I allow some theater companies to send me spam

Why I saw this show: family drama, politics and set in Rhinebeck? Pick me!

Where I sat: near the desk in the kitchen, front row

Things that were sad: characters in this play express their grief about a recent death  

Things that were funny: families are funny, good writing about how families talk in their kitchens is funny

Things that were not funny: many working class people today are not doing better, despite the news that economy has improved.

What it is: first of a three part play, set March 4, 2016, about the very real economic struggles of various family members in an election year, with cooking. Better than "The Humans." Parts 2 and 3 to open in September and then November.

Who should see it: everyone

What I saw on the way home: a guy on the subway with a bag of chihuahuas

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I saw "The King & I"

What I saw: "The King & I" at the Lincoln Center Theater, on W 65th in NYC

What I wore: favorite dirty jeans, Chinese-made Australian boots, new Brooks Brother floral blouse, tan cardigan, yellow striped scarf that I think I bought at one of those gifty shops at U Village in Seattle a couple of lifetimes ago, black Baker-plaid trimmed quilted jacket

What I did beforehand: disregarded recent filings by the Department of Labor and went to B&H to buy headphones that don't go in my ears for listening to audiobooks when I vacuum because the in-ear ones from Apple deliver regular shocks from static electricity; walked 31 blocks up 9th Ave from 34th to 65th; stopped and ate hummus with dry pita at American Table at Alice Tully Hall where my three dollar tip was noted with a hearty "Thank you."

Who went with me: My cousin (the one who requested I see "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") texted me a couple of months ago, saying she and her husband would be in town, and that she had gotten tickets to "The King & I" on this night. 

How I got tickets: online, full-price
Why I saw this show: see "Who went with me," above

I could have vomited into the pit

Where I sat: Row C, seat 403, in the front row on the end. I had a view of the orchestra pit beforehand, and regular eye-contact with the bassoonist. 

Things that were sad: I was an alto in the chorus, starting in junior high school, and we sang a medley of the best songs in this musical. As the exquisitely talented Kelli O'Hara sang the opening phrase of the first song ("Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect, and whistle a happy tune..."), I began to cry. I also cried during "Hello, Young Lovers," which I thought was a stupid song in 7th grade, and during, "Shall We Dance?" 

Things that were funny: Afterward, I asked my brother about some of the things I was uncomfortable about in this musical, and he said:
There are only three ideas white people have about black and brown people--1) how to get things/labor from them2) how to save them from themselves 3) how to protect us from them 
Things that were not funny: How do I see a show like this and not talk about the "barbaric" King of Siam being rescued by insistent teachings of the spunky and opinionated English woman? Or about the fact that Asia is a huge continent, but any Asian face passes for Thai (or Burmese) on an America stage? Or about the broad and sometimes unintelligible accents? The underwear gags? 

What it is: A Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that gets revived regularly for the Broadway-musical-loving world. It is nicely staged in this venue. The singing and dancing were great. And it was nice to see my cousin and her husband.

Who should see it: men (there was a very long line to the cramped maze that is the women's restroom before the show, and an even longer line at intermission), people who can hold their pee 

What I saw on the way home: seven mounted NYPD officers, riding up 10th Avenue in formation
The best way to go uptown

And I lost a glove.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I saw "The Body of an American"

What I saw: "The Body of an American," at the newly remodeled Cherry Lane Theater, 38 Commerce Street, in the West Village, NYC

What I wore: favorite black Fluevog Guides, fishnet socks, Hudson jeans that are too long that now have a ripped button on one of the back pockets because I did that the last time I wore them which was when I saw "Prodigal Son," black t with white polka dots, black open-knit sweater, burn-out velvet scarf that was the gift of a friend in Seattle in the late 90s. 
Mine is the tan car,
stuck behind four yellow cabs,
next to the white bus
What I did beforehand: got stuck in mid-town gridlock and stepped on my prescription sunglasses, the ones I got for Italy

Who went with me: The Bacon Provider, freshly returned from a week of working on the other coast

How I got tickets: Oh, knew it would happen. I bought tickets to two shows on the same night this month.  Maybe if I had real-life friends here, I'd have asked around and given them away. But I know like five or eight people in NYC outside of my family. Anyway, I bought more tickets and donated back the originals on the grounds that a small theater like this might put the proceeds to good use. Oh, and if you'd like to tell me how to make friends in Bedhead Hills or NYC when I'm 52 and bitter and currently like really into Schopenhauer, you can comment about that below.

Why I saw this show: I think I got a promotional email suggesting it (and here I am, the one who gets all fucking salty about spam).

Where I sat: last row, in front of the light and sound board, in the brand new, comfortable seats. The guy manning the tech showed up and let out two great, theatrical yawns. I wondered what would happen if I monkeyed with his cables. I'm glad I didn't; this show has exquisite lighting and visual effects. Normally, I cringe at the recent trend of projecting slides on the backdrop of a play, but in this case the set was designed to look as good without the projections, and the images enhanced rather than distracted. 

Things that were sad: It's all been about drugs lately, movies, books, plays. 

Things that were funny: I just finished reading Robert Stone's "Dog Soldiers," a 70s novel about a journalist in Vietnam who's pretty lost in his own life and a drug deal gone sideways. My brother recommended it, and I liked the book quite a bit, though when I watched the movie version, "Who'll Stop the Rain," I was disgusted by its neutering of the three main characters. Read the book; skip the movie. Anyway, "The Body of an American" is about a journalist who goes to the more recent war-torn corners of the world and is also pretty lost in his own life, and a playwright who wants to write about him because he is also pretty lost in his own life. I completely relate to the theme of a writer lost in his own life: I really do.
There are a few ways to define "funny."

Things that were not funny: The lighting guy behind me had a tummy ache.

What it is: a play about writers, ghosts, and how life can be scary or seemingly pointless, acted with genuine (and appropriate) restraint by two actors named Michael.

Who should see it: husbands who don't like the feel-bad family-dysfunction dramas, writers, anyone who just ate dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in the West Village, photojournalists, lovers and haters of snow and/or sand.

What I saw on the way home: I expected to see a certain amount of bad driving on the dark and narrow Saw Mill Parkway late on a Friday night, but I got stuck behind a driver whose foot seemed to have slipped off the gas.  I steered around the unexpectedly slowing car, but when it happened a second time to another driver it seemed like a contagious disease had overtaken drivers all over Westchester. Keep going, people. You can't stop driving until you arrive someplace.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I saw "Angel Reapers"

What I saw: "Angel Reapers" at the Signature Theater, on W 42nd, off-Broadway

What I wore: favorite dirty jeans, J. Crew men's striped oxford shirt, tan cardigan, Chinese-made Australian-brand boots, black quilted jacket with Baker plaid trim, silk scarf I bought at the American Folk Art Museum that was made in India.  

"No photography allowed"

What I did beforehand: Tuesday things, Tuesday being the homeliest day of the week
Who went with me: The Graduate
How I got tickets: online, full-price

Why I saw this show: Because the United States of America has always been a home to people of unusual faiths. 

Where I sat: The stage is in the middle with the audience divided on the two sides, facing each other. I sat in the third row, left, behind the Graduate, between a quiet woman who was barely breathing and a man with a case of the sniffles. 

Things that were sad: The Shakers were celibate. 
Things that were funny: (spoilers)

Things that were not funny: There was a moment, after the last member of the audience took off their coat and sat and the stage manager closed the door and people began to get quiet in anticipation. Well, maybe some people weren't quietening and some people were actually shushing each other (a scolding akin to some honking, which there is also too much of in New York) and the lights started to dim and I watched not for the beginning of the play but for the moment of  transformation: when the collection of unrelated individuals becomes a cohesive audience. I didn't see it. But really the theater was just a room and I and all the people in it dutifully gave the eleven actors our focus despite being able to see the faces of other members of the audience. Because without this choice maybe there is no theater. So as a backdrop to the actors, there was an array of human faces, like indoor moons, also watching but meant to be ignored. And I was undisturbed by them but distracted by a single microphone wire subltly snaked from the bonnet of a performer into her dress. I wanted that wire not to be there; more than I wanted the faces of the other half of the audience to go away, more than I wished the sniffles from the guy sitting next to me would stop, I wanted that wire not to be running from her simple white bonnet to the collar of her 18th century dress.

What it is: a play? dance? musical? interpretative history? recital? pageant? About the Shakers. It answered 74 things about the Shakers, but asked 123 more. 

Who should see it: history buffs, utopians, cloggers, shape-note singers, re-enacters, students of religion, Quakers. 

What I saw on the way home: A pair of Con Ed trucks, fixing something under the street, because New York never stops being broken.

Because New York never stops being broken

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I saw "The Wildness"

What I saw: Sky Pony's "The Wildness" at Ars Nova, on W 54th, off-off-Broadway 

What I wore: favorite jeans, boots, scarf given to me by an old Seattle friend that I've lost touch with, long cardigan; you have to check your coat because the venue is small. 

Ars Nova (projected sign on building across W 54th)

What I did beforehand: ate a hotdog  
Who went with me: The Bacon Provider 
How I got tickets: online 

Why I saw this show: I read a review that made it sound a little weird and stupid and like something I needed to see

Where I sat: on a sofa in the section labeled "COAT," our names written on pieces of tape. If you go, get a "premium" seat on the sofas, and don't volunteer to be one of the "Brave Ones."

Things that were sad: the songs were better than the business connecting them
Things that were funny: sequined underwear, lyrics 

Your ticket is a blindfold

Things that were not funny: the Bacon Provider sitting down, looking around accusingly, pulling out his phone and looking up a review of the show and saying, "Oh, God." This entertaining and somewhat insubstantial show was neither as bad as its bad reviews, nor as good as its good reviews.

What it is: While it is billed as an alt-rock fairy tale, I would say it's an indy-pop show, with fascinating costumes, candy, blindfolds, cool lighting effects, decent music that wasn't too loud, and sporadically charming choreography.

Who should see it: fans of Sky Pony


What I saw on the way home: The Food King, with its sign reading, "WE DELIVERY"

Later that night I dreamed Backup Singer/Handmaiden #1 was living in my yard, at the bottom of a steep ravine. I recognized her by her red-blue wig. I gave her some clothes, and promised her food, and climbed a ladder through the shower to get back in my house.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I saw "Prodigal Son"

What I saw: "Prodigal Son" at the second-most generically named theater I've yet been to in New York, the Manhattan Theater Club (also known, even more generically, as New York City Center Stage 1) at 131 W 55th Street, which is off-Broadway.

What I wore: favorite blue Fluevog Guide heels, Hudson jeans that are much too long and puddle annoyingly around my ankles, black no-iron stretch cotton Brooks Brothers blouse, black Eileen Fisher cardigan, gray rag & bone scarf with black dots that for a while I thought the cleaners lost and I cried over it because you can't buy them anymore but then I found it so I wear a lot and maybe clutch it jealously sometimes, tiny purple Kate Spade purse with a long skinny strap that is really no replacement for women's clothes having functional pockets but what can you do?

What I did beforehand: When I first moved to New York I complained that you can't get a decent cup of coffee, but I have since gotten over the general badness of a lot of the coffee in New York and found where to go. Before the theater, I ate a molasses ginger cookie and drank a decaf cappuccino from Blue Bottle coffee (which is a New York outpost of a West Coast chain) and then walked to the subway to catch the uptown E train. I got on the wrong train, hopped off and then got on the right train and got off at the wrong stop. I was supposed to be meeting the Bacon Provider for dinner and had to walk five blocks instead of no blocks.  

Who went with me: The Bacon Provider and The Graduate (who we should have invited to join us for dinner) 

How I got tickets: online, full price, in two batches because I thought The Bacon Provider was going to be out of town and when I found out he wasn't going to be out of town I bought one more ticket, in the back row

Why I saw this show: recommended by a friend at the barn who has a friend who is an actor and the friend recommended it

Where I sat: Row B, Seat 5
Is your phone off?

Things that were sad: Sometimes, I miss teaching. Sometimes, I think the wrong people get into teaching. 

Things that were funny: I did not like the rambly, new-agey incidental guitar-and-sometimes-piano music used in the show. It was correctly engineered, but I just didn't like it. File this under #myunpopularopinion; it was composed and performed by Paul Simon. Also, when the lights came up, just before the actor spoke his first line, the woman next to me said aloud, "I like the set!"

Things that were not funny: how many prep-school coming-of-age stories are there left to be told? But if you want me to sit on the edge of my seat, tell me a story of redemption. Because, you see, I, too, was a liar once, and know well what liars can do.

What it is: the best written play I've seen this year; the script is for sale for $17 at the coat check afterwards, and they may not have change, so buyers will have to choose, as I did, between paying $20 for it or waiting for change.

Who should see it: fans of the wildly gifted young actor, Timothée Chalamet; people who think about Socrates, Nazis, T.S. Eliot, and Jesus Christ

What I saw on the way home: Before the play begins there is a book lying on the stage. If you go to see the play, and you should, check to see what book it is.  Also, check to see what book is left on the stage at the end.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I saw "The Humans"

What I saw: The Humans, at the mildly decrepit Helen Hayes Theater, on the south side of W 44th Street, in NYC

What I wore: those black Fluevog boots with two buckles that I think of as my pirate boots, tights, plaid wool Boden skirt, light pink no-iron Brooks Brothers cotton blouse and favorite Barbie pink cashmere Boden crewneck sweater

What I did beforehand: ate turkey and black bean chili and read an article in Granta 
Who went with me: The Bacon Provider

How I got tickets: online, with a coupon for $10 off
Why I saw this show:  Because it got good reviews in the New York Times,  because The Bacon Provider would be in town, because I walk on W 44th and wondered. 

Where I sat: row F, in front of an extravagantly hipsterish guy with a boy's haircut (in chunks over his balding temples), clearly in his early 30s trying pretty hard to look 22 (but hoping you won't notice), wearing an Aztec-patterned blanket jacket, a green gingham shirt, purple v-neck, faded orange chinos and, yes, a bow tie. I nicknamed him, "Young John Hodgman." 

He pulled out his reviewer's notebook and pen just before the lights dimmed, at precisely 8:08 p.m. as he had predicted. He had a date with him, who he should have dropped off at the hospital because she had a gooey, productive cough that kicked in about 40 minutes into the show and I thought she might need an ambulance.

Things that were sad: play was sad, but not unhopeful
Things that were funny: phone business, New-York-basement-apartment business, almost everything the mother-character said, especially when she was trying to be inspiring 

Things that were not funny: the actors were upstaged by the incoherent granny in her wheelchair, and even the granny was upstaged by the verisimilitude of the sounds the apartment made

What it is: more family dysfunction in two stories (without intermission)

There is no intermission

Who should see it: theater-goers with strong immune systems and an appetite for family dysfunction, students of class warfare willing to have the battles of their expertise acknowledged but not re-fought

What I saw on the way home: When she rose to her feet, the white-blond date of Young John Hodgman steadied herself on the seats saying, "I feel like an old granny." I guess she meant her illness. She was wearing black cat-eye glasses frames that made her pale face even more so. I don't think Young John Hodgman heard her, though, because he was still scribbling in his notebook; he had stopped laughing about 30 minutes into the 95 minute show.

The Bacon Provider bolted ahead of me; he is not a fan of crowds. I was stuck behind a long line of shuffling theater patrons, rising into the aisle ahead of me, slipping their arms back into the sleeves of their wool jackets, checking for their purses and programs. He looked bewildered out on the sidewalk when I caught up to him.

I admitted on the walk home that I wasn't sure I liked it. He said, "You know I don't like depressing plays."

"But it wasn't that depressing. It was good," I pressed. "The acting, the writing. The apartment. The sister? I swear she was real. Someone I totally know. Everything about her. That wasn't even acting. And the mom? Those emails! I mean."

Even a few blocks of walking in New York drags a person on its gritty edge, because New York has no smooth side, but when the streets are quiet enough and the temperature is in that zone between too hot and too cold, it's almost like New York isn't the most terrible place in America, and on this night it was almost like that.  

I added, after another block, "I'm not sure what the point was, but I think I liked it anyway."

Saturday, March 5, 2016

I ate Lunch

What I saw: Lunch with Mrs. Gardenwinkle and her best friend Mrs. Triumph, at the Bedhead Hills Wasp and Skeet-Shoot Club

What I wore: I was warned in advance by Mrs. Gardenwinkle that the Bedhead Hills Wasp and Skeet-Shoot Club has a "no jeans" rule in the dining room, but I had a lesson scheduled after lunch so I wore my riding clothes, consisting of freshly cleaned tall dress boots (courtesy of the expert polishing skills of the Bacon Provider), safari tan full-seat Pikeur breeches, black long-sleeved Ralph Lauren polo shirt, new Ibex zippered cardigan sweater, Baker-plaid-trimmed barn coat, black and white check scarf.

What I did beforehand: baked bread (I made the dough the night before)
Why I went: A number of Mrs. Gardenwinkle's year-end tax items came to the house, and I mailed them to her at her new condo. In return, I got a nice card in the mail, with her thanks, and the invitation to join her and a friend for lunch; she had written her email address in cursive just before she signed off, suggesting I reply that way.

A hand-written card from the previous owner

Where I sat: in the seat I was offered, with the view of the covered patio and golf course

Things that were sad: my hosts greeted our server by his first name; his mechanical smile and polite reply reminded me of the obsequious servers at Busch's Grove, back in the St. Louis I grew up in, where white people felt no obligation to pretend not to be paternalistic in their racism. 

Things that were funny: the wallpaper in the Ladies Lounge; listening to Mrs. Triumph and Mrs. Gardenwinkle talk about the Republican presidential candidates; the story of the homeless man in the Bedhead Hills Library 

Things that were not funny: See "Things that were funny" and "Things that were sad."

What it is: I had a salad with grilled salmon on it. It was just the right size fillet and it was  perfectly cooked. The cookie was smallish but freshly baked so the chocolate was melted. The cappuccino was made by one of those do-it-all machines, topped with a bland froth of tasteless milk foam and a tell-tale brown dot of machine-drizzled espresso in the middle. 

Who should see it: I hope they invite me to something again. Mrs. Gardenwinkle isn't much like my mom (her taste is more like my mom's mom's), but they'd be the same age if my mom was alive.

What I saw on the way home: cars and trucks and bare naked trees

What I forgot to tell you: It's been bothering me for more than two weeks-- something discussed at lunch but I couldn't remember. Somehow it came out of the conversation about the Broadway smash-hit "Hamilton," but I didn't remember until yesterday. Mrs. Triumph was describing how to get tickets for a matinee, and Mrs. Gardenwinkle was saying that she'd heard it made sense to get the assisted hearing device because, "There are just so many words!" The topic then shifted to the ten dollar bill, with Hamilton's picture on it, and the possibility of a new design with a woman on the ten or the twenty, and Mrs. Gardenwinkle said, with feeling, "It's such nonsense! Why do they have to go and change who's on the dollars!?"

I've been stewing about it ever since, wondering what might make the most convincing argument. I said nothing at the time, though I'd like a bill with an American woman on it, and I think when we get one I will go to the bank to get a whole stack of them, to give out as tips. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

I saw "Old Hats"

What I saw: "Old Hats" at the Signature Theater, on W 42nd St
What I wore: jeans and Danner boots
What I did beforehand: ate tamales, drank the wrong flavor of Jarritos
Who went with me: R. & The Graduate, both 20-something
How I got tickets: Online, full price

"No photography allowed"

Why I saw this show: I have a friend who is a neuroscientist and before that she was a mime and a clown. We wanted to see this show together, but it turned out that she was at a scientific conference this week. So I had to invite other people.

Where I sat: Row G, on the end (people in seats in the front section were vulnerable to being teased by clowns or chosen to come on stage as foils)

Things that were sad: I really wanted to see this with my friend who used to be a professional clown, and she had to go do science instead.

Things that were funny: Bill Irwin and David Shiner are geniuses of physical comedy. Shaina Taub's songs are witty and catchy and hold their own.

Things that were not funny: This whole Trump thing? Not funny.

What it is: pretty damned close to a Vaudeville show, ok?

Who should see it: anyone who, like me, gets really excited when there's a band providing the music and you can actually see the band and they are excellent and the amplification levels of the music are perfect so you wonder why other shows can't have better sound engineering;  fans of Mr. Noodle; your parents; the Korean exchange student living at your parents who just arrived and might not yet understand any of the song lyrics but will be captivated anyway; your friend Bill who says he hates mimes (but just in case buy him a beer at the bar beforehand); my children; my friend the neuroscientist; you.

What I saw on the way home: scaffolding