It’s spring theater season in New York. I know, for most of you, this is a thrilling time. You break out your best dresses and can hardly sleep for the excitement. You planned for it six months ago, you have your seats booked for planes and in the orchestra (recession be damned!), and you can’t wait to get to Times Square to rub shoulders with all the sophisticates from around the world.
No? Really? You didn’t? You have no plans?? You don’t know what to see or who’s in it?? You’re not getting on a plane to New York just to catch a show? What?? You are not one of the eight people outside New York who watch the Tony Awards? Not possible! Are you being honest with me or are you putting me on??
Huh. Well, that hurts me a little. It pains me, I won’t deny it. But I’m here to help. Really. I saw everything. Nearly everything anyway. And I have things to say about even the things I didn’t see (naturally), so let me help.
Let’s get one thing clear right up front: I loathe musicals. I see them because R’s brother is an actor, a successful one and a good one, and he is sometimes in musicals and we love him, so I go. (See here, for Manoel’s latest.) Some of the voices are amazing. I can appreciate that. But all the stopping and dancing and singing about feelings gets in the way of the narrative and drives me batty. Which is to say that I didn’t see anything musical in New York, so if you’re looking for my thoughts on Shrek: The Musical or 9 to 5 (even though it does star Allison Janney), you’re out of luck.
Also, while we’re on the subject, let’s be clear about a couple of other things I can’t stand. Times Square and the tourists who crowd the sidewalks gawking at the things that are not cool about New York, the terrible restaurants up there, people who wear printed T-shirts to the theater, and the new trend of clapping at celebrities’ entrances and exits and speeches and so on as if they’re doing something above and beyond by just showing up.
There. I’m done. Now let’s move on.