Monday, January 9, 2012

A Theatre Weekend

It's Monday and my husband and I had a very theatrical weekend.  First up, Lyrics and Lyricists at the 92nd St Y highlighting the work of Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson.  This is a very New York series that has been produced for 40 years.  For five weekends a year the Y produces a musical review and commentary on a specific lyric/lyricist.  Sometimes the shows are great and sometimes the shows seem tired, even though they are produced in a week. Unfortunately, the average age of the audience is around 78.  That is terrible because the music needs to live on through the generations and if the Y audience is any indication, the music will stop.  I am a huge believer in through lines.  If you are a musician/singer/athlete/politician/author or whatever, you must know where it all began.  We didn't just wake up and here we are; there is history, people!  So, again, I digress.  The show we watched this weekend was fabulous. Well produced, great cast (Jason Graae, Christina Andreas, Laura Osnos, Howard McGillan), great narrative, and the spectacular big Band, Vince Giardano and the Nighthawks.  What a wonderful way to begin the year! If you ever have the chance to see a Lyrics and Lyricists evening, it's worth it.  I wish all communities would do this and keep the music playing.

Yesterday, we went to see a new musical, based on the movie, Once (produced by New York Theatre Workshop who did Rent).  It was Sunday and if my husband had waivered for one second, I probably would have bailed out.  The subways were being worked on so we had to get out early and hop a cab to get to the theatre.  I had never been down there and when the theatre doors opened, it was so welcoming.  The cast of the show was all on stage playing and singing pre-theatre music and songs.  It was the perfect setting.  When the show began, I was transported to an extraordinary musical place.  The music was definitely soul grabbing and soothing. It was interesting because there was no applause during the show and at the conclusion the entire audience lept to its feet.  It was thrilling.  Moving.  The cast is exceedingly talented called onto play guitar, cello, piano, violin, accordian, plus more while singing and moving.  This beautiful show is moving to a Broadway theatre.  I can't imagine it in a big theatre.  NYTW is probably a 199 seat house.  The Bernard Jacobs Theatre has over 1000 seats.  Big difference and the transfer may lose some of the specialness.  The current space is so intimate and it feels like you walked into a coffee house or bar. How will it work?  I wish the cast and the entire company nothing but success and I am very happy that I saw it downtown!

Sidebars:  Beyonce and JayZ had their baby girl at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC.  In the news today, there are a lot of criticisms that they kept other families away from their family, friends, and babies in the NICU. They are putting the blame on the wrong people.  It is the hospital and the hospital board that let them take over.  Lenox Hill wanted to say they were the hospital of record for Beyonce's baby (named Blue Ivy, unfortunately). Don't blame the celebrities. They are just doing what they do.  It's all on the hospital administrators!  

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