Saturday, August 6, 2011

BwayFans Take Manhattan!!!

Traditional Train Picture!!!
I'm still recovering from this!  What a day we had...

I organized the second trip of the year for Workshop this week.  In recent years, the second show would usually be the one we were using pieces from for recital - Shrek (Freak Flag), Wicked (well, most all of Wicked!).  Anyway, this year we are using music from Wonderland but, sadly, that show closed within a month of opening!

My usual group size is 20 or so.  This time I didn't get the participation from the girls as I expected but we adjusted and went anyway.  It ended up with 6 of us - Juliane, Taylor, Sara, Lauren, Jackie and I.  Since I had such a small group, we could move around the city a lot easier and faster.  We could eat where ever we wanted with out having to worry about group seating.  I also planned to go to Broadway Dance Center (BDC) so the girls could take a class or 2 there before we went to the show.

The show - it was a pretty easy choice considering who was in the group with me!  Juliane is absolutely obsessed with Sutton Foster.... so Anything Goes it was.  It's a big splashy musical with great music and dance and a giant tap number to close Act I that I'd seen on the Tony's already - I knew we'd all enjoy it.

The dilemma was going to BDC to dance beforehand.  It was their choice to go to the BDC and they seemed excited about it when I first mentioned it.  We've done workshops in the city before seeing shows at other times.  While they were always fun and exciting, the girls didn't like feeling so hot and sweaty afterward.  Getting dressed and sitting through a show at that point was uncomfortable.

It was Tuesday - our last class before we traveled and I printed the BDC and train schedule so we could make some decisions that night.  I also noticed there was rain in the forecast, so an umbrella was a must.  After our regular class, we sat down and talked about the schedules and somewhere in the middle of it, someone brings up seeing a second show instead of dancing... maybe it was me... I don't remember!  It was intriguing to me because I've never seen 2 shows in one day - movies, yes, Broadway shows, never!  So, I scurried home and connected to the computer as quickly as I could to research if we could get to another show the next afternoon.

Nothing of interest came up in the Off-Broadway search.  I went that route to find something different and interesting.  We needed a matinee and there aren't a lot of Wed matinees Off Broadway.  I was entirely too tired to continue to search... so I gave up and went to bed.  Before I did though, I chatted to Juliane to make the decision that no matter what we'd see a 2nd show so the girls wouldn't have to pack dance clothes if they weren't going to use them.  With no show decision that night, I figured I'd stand on the TKTS line to see what I could get.

I went into the office early to get through my emails and set appointments for the balance of the week. I did a quick search in between and found what I was looking for.  I was so excited and tweeted 'surprise' to get some of them thinking.

Taylor was my first pickup at Ketchum - right after her Driver's Ed class.  Next, to Sara, then JP and LP and finally we mashed Jacklyn into the back seat for the short trip to the train.  Once on the train, I played a little 20 questions to get them to guess what we were seeing first.  It took them longer than I thought it would to figure out the show was.... Sister Act!  It also had one of it's big numbers on the Tony's and I wasn't overly thrilled about it there but the price was right and we were open to anything.

The rest of the train ride consisted of laughing, talking, photos.... just enjoying each other's company.  It continued when we shared a quick bite to eat on a bench in Grand Central before going up into the big city.  

I was just so happy to be there with this group.  Our adventure began walking through the diamond district and ogling the beautiful jewelry.  We were so flexible and carefree - we could have walked and done anything and it would have been ok.  But once we hit Time Square, we had to head up town straight to the theatre. 

Sister Act turned out to be a fantastic choice!  My surprise really surprised all of us - it was so hysterically funny with catchy music and clever lyrics that when intermission came we all looked at each other in total shock!!! We really loved this show WAY more than we expected to and the second act didn't disappoint.  There was even a touching scene when all the sisters stood to take the bullet for Dolores.  Believe it or not, I could relate to the sentiment and knew the other girls could feel it too.  We had a new bond that day - we've always been 'dance' sisters but .... read between the lines....

Show one done. It has started to rain while we were in the theater.  Off to dinner at a nice Italian place on Restaurant Row.  More relaxed talking and sharing and eating and whatever!  Just a nice time.  It's now pouring outside and we still have an hour to kill so we make our way to Forever 21 by request.  Sara is all about the shopping and comes away finding something she likes!!!

Show two - Anything Goes.  I know we could not get there early enough for Juliane so we head over as soon as we can.  There is a covered walkthru next to the theater and we camp out there until the doors open just taking pictures of flamingos, foreheads, what have you! 

The doors are finally open and we get to our balcony seats - they weren't too bad really.  We are so accustomed to the environment and enjoy just looking at the logo in anticipation of the start of the show.  Have I mentioned the Sutton obsession that Juliane has?  Let's just say, she did not budge from her seat for fear she miss any moment of seeing her!  She was very cute... a big BIG fan!

This show did not disappoint - big, splashy musical as I anticipated!  Unique staging, dancing top notch, funny bits from much of the cast but especially Joel Grey, great orchestrated score - overall a fantastic rendition of the classic musical. And Sutton was wonderful as expected!!

As we sat on the train home, the events of the day rushed over me.  I smiled over how well we all traveled together and how much we enjoyed each other's company.  How easy it was for us to adapt to the changes of the day - sun, rain, show, 2 shows, no dance.  It didn't seem to matter.  Content is a good word for it. Truthfully, I was exhausted but loved what I was hearing all around me as I shut my eyes to try to rest for my long ride home.  We recounted the funny parts - Gelato, FM boots, no UW, Taylor's attractive forehead, so much more.  These are the moments that make life so special.   I'm just so glad to be here to experience it.

I know they all had a great day... if they only knew how much it really meant to me.


Juliane said...

Goodness Mary.. Im not that obsessed!!!

RitterBlog said...

The orange umbrella was missed. Not me, just the umbrella ;))