Whirlwind is the first word that comes to mind when I try to describe this weekend. From the moment I woke up at 5:00am to catch an Amtrak into Manhattan, I hit the ground running and didn’t stop until I was back home in Boston.
First up on this three-show weekend was pre-show brunch with my friends Adeline, Diane, and Kayla in the heart of Greenwich village. We had reservations at Délice & Sarrasin, a petite, authentic French vegan restaurant specializing in crêpes! I got La Bordelaise, a sweet crêpe with salted caramel, roasted apple, and vanilla ice cream!
Then, we went back into Midtown to see closing weekend of Significant Other! Before the show, we stopped by the “Booth at the Booth,” a super fun photo booth where we snapped a few rolls of photos.
The show itself follows 29-year-old gay Manhattanite Jordan Berman (played by a lovable Gideon Glick), whose three best girl friends all get married while he remains alone. I laughed almost as hard as I cried. Jordan’s quirks and anxieties are ones I recognized, and the moments of love and connection he shared with his friend, Laura (played by a delightful Lindsay Mendez), hit me hard. Joshua Harmon’s script juxtaposes moments of intense joy (accompanied by a soundtrack of 90s hits) with moments of crippling loneliness (accompanied by silence).
The final minute or two of the show is performed with no words, but is downright heartbreaking–simply a testament to phenomenal acting on the part of Glick. This is a play every millennial needs to see. The truth spoken in the show and catharsis felt while in the audience are so affecting and life-changing.
After the show, I had the opportunity to go backstage with my mom and her friends and mingle with the cast, as well as Celia Keenan-Bolger, who was also in the audience for the matinee! Everyone was incredibly sweet and engaging. It was surreal to be backstage: I saw the set up close, checked out the view from the stage, and looked at all the behind-the-scenes mechanics that help the show run eight times a week.
For dinner, we popped into Blossom du Jour on 8th avenue for some quick vegan dinner before grabbing dessert at Dough in City Kitchen! Their doughnuts are incredible, and I highly recommend the Boston Creme doughnut!
We all split up for our evening shows–Adeline rushed tickets for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Kayla got cancellation tickets for Dear Evan Hansen, Diane rushed tickets for A Bronx Tale, and I saw Six Degrees of Separation.
Six Degrees was incredible, and nothing like what I expected! It was 90 minutes and no intermission of pure thrill, which was perfect for a two-show day. The play, by John Guare, recounts the night that Ouisa and Flan Kittredge met a conman who claims to be the son of Sydney Poitier. Once he enters their lives, they are inextricably linked. Watching the Kittredges and their wealthy friends attempt to detangle the web of lies and deception left behind by the crafty conman is endlessly exhilarating and surprisingly riotous. The ensemble was light on its feet and everyone was so in seamlessly in tune with each other, truly a joy to watch.
I stood at stage door Six Degrees and ran into countless friends, but before any of the actors came out, I had to head one block over to the Longacre Theatre to go backstage at A Bronx Tale with Diane! We spoke with the charming and talented Richard H. Blake and Paul Salvatoriello.
Then, we stage door-hopped over to meet Kayla at Dear Evan Hansen, after which we went to Characters for some post-show treats! I ordered a slice of the double chocolate cake, and almost died from how delicious it was.
Day two was more relaxing, but nonetheless exciting. I started my morning downtown at Penelope, where I grabbed brunch with my friend Liz. It had been a year and a half since we last saw one another, so it was wonderful to be able to catch up and eat our weight in pancakes and Nutella!
Then, I walked around Midtown, enjoying the flowers dotting the sidewalks and the warm spring air. I grabbed some cookies at Schmackary’s (because of course I did) then went to the newly-restored Hudson Theatre to see closing night of Sunday in the Park with George!
Sunday is a masterpiece about a masterpiece. The first act follows the fictionalized life of French painter Georges Seurat and the characters in his famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, while the second act primarily traces his (also fictional) legacy. Annaleigh Ashford as Dot/Marie was hilarious and heartbreaking, and Jake Gyllenhaal as George was remarkable (and seeing him act like a dog during “Day Off” was priceless).
The ensemble brought such life to the world of Seurat, each bringing such intricacies to their characters. The second act of the show is my favorite, offering wisdom on life, art, and what we leave behind. But more than anything, it dissects the plights and sacrifices necessitated by the life of an artist. The reprise of “Sunday” in Act II always gives me chills, but hearing the rich harmonies and seeing George slowly conduct the painting into being brought tears to my eyes. Simply spectacular. The Chromolume #7 in Act II was also breathtaking–it continued in breaking the fourth wall and immersed the audience in the world of the show, however slightly, by moving up and down above the orchestra in a dazzling display of light. I was left speechless at the end of the show.
Although I could not stay long at stage door, I did manage to see Stephen Sondheim exiting the theatre! What a legend, and the perfect encounter to end my magical weekend.
What have been the most magical theatre experiences you have had? Let me know in the comments below!
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