Saturday, May 5, 2007

Bruce-a-lot (New York Part V)

We awoke to a cold morning and cigar breath. We washed away the remnants of the night before and bundled up for a new adventure. We decided to go back to The Cupping Room for breakfast. It was a Sunday morning and the place was packed. Young couples, old friends, and families with children in tow were lined up in the bar awaiting a table. We lucked out and were seated at the last table for two. We ate quickly and then caught a cab up to Central Park. I had decided that I couldn't go to New York City and not visit the park. On our first night in the city we could see one corner of the park, while we dined at PerSe. But I wanted the real experience, a walk in the park.
It was still cold when we started our walk and we kept our jackets closed and walked quickly through the mostly deserted park. We passed many of the famous landmarks of the park. Each new scene we came upon made me think of all the movies and television shows I had seen with these vistas as the backdrop. Similar to places in Los Angeles, these were landmarks that the world recognizes, but these places truly are familiar and part of home to some. And here we are soaking in it; New York City, breathing it in.
We wander over to Rockefeller Plaza towards the Theater District. We had tickets for the afternoon matinee of Monty Python's Spamalot at the Schubert Theater. Rockefeller Plaza was in the midst of being decorated for the coming Christmas season. The tree was erected and had scaffolding surrounding it and going up... what seemed like 100 feet high. There was a Santa Clause in the FAO Schwartz building, looking out on the scene and waving at the crowds below. People idly ice skated about below and we decided we'd had enough of this scene. We walked on towards the Schubert in hopes of finding some food before the show started. We came upon Sardi's and had to take the opportunity to check it out. Sardi's is an institution in the Theater District. It's where theater people have eaten for generations. There are caricatures all over the walls boasting the long tradition of theater. Well, the place was a mad house, crazy busy. They were quick to seat us, but then we were ignored in our little corner table. Ten minutes clicked by and we were never seen by a waiter. We spent our time laughing at the out dated menu and ridiculous prices and just about crying for the sad people who had saved their money, come to New York to see something on Broadway and someone tells them that this is the place to get the best true theater dining experience. The over worked waiters and tattered room make the place just seem sad and shabby. We walked out. We decided to do the real NY thing and eat a hot dog off the cart down at the corner. The hot dog was perfect... well the idea of the hot dog was perfect, the dog itself was bland and not Kosher beef, which I prefer.
Bruce and I are not into musicals. As a young musician in a youth orchestra he was often called upon to play all the Broadway favorites. He knows his Music Man from his South Pacific and he hates them all with a passion. Their simplistic melodies and repetitive nature are enough to drive a young mind to join a Punk band.
I however found musicals very entertaining, when I was 12 years old. That was when I tired of them as well. My mother subscribed to the local civic light opera and dutifully took her daughters to see all their productions. I think of musicals as entertainment, for children.
So Spam-a-lot might not seem the obvious choice of things for us to do during our trip to NY, but we are both big Monty Python fans and I thought it would be cool to see it in NY before it was sent around the country (the deal for which had not been announced at the time of our trip).
I bought great tickets from an online broker. We were right up front to the right in about the 3rd row. The play was very funny and well done. I even loved the costumes, beautiful dresses are one of my weaknesses.
Near the end of the play, at just about the climax of the show, a large artifact is unveiled on the stage and needs to be interpreted. I stared at that thing as the cast bantered back and forth "CIOI? C101? Chaio?" "what does it mean?"
I leaned over to Bruce, "That is your seat number."
Bruce just has a chance to feel under his seat to see if there is something there, when...
At that moment one of the cast members jumps down into the audience, pulls Bruce from his seat, dumps the holy grail into the seat and proclaims Bruce to be the "Best Peasant". Bruce is pulled up on stage, the cast sings a song to him, a picture is taken, an award and certificate are given to him.
I am in shock. I can't even take a picture, Bruce had the camera in his pocket. A nice lady sitting next to me in the audience took a picture and my address (she really did send us the snap shots too!).
Bruce returns to the seat, and he's in shock too. Wow.
After the show ends, the cast is selling items as a charitable fund-raiser. We buy the poster signed by the cast and while we're standing at the booth buying it, Bruce was asked to sign another person's poster, so that it has the "whole cast".
We wander out and catch a cab back to the hotel. Wow, this has become an incomparable city adventure.

No comments: