Each trip to New York boasts its own set of adventures, mishaps and goings-on. With the help and guidance of my tito, Brian Jose (a thespian way before I decided to take a crack at it), I got to see Ghost, Peter and the Starcatcher, Once & The Book of Mormon on this trip. However brief, I got the Broadway fix I wanted. At the same time, it made me sad watching all those plays. I guess it’s not such a good idea when you’re on a self-imposed hiatus from theater.
So I emptied my pockets, forked over every dollar I had left and just went with it. I’m officially poor. Goodbye, savings! But what the hell. It was money well spent. :p
P.S. Very special thanks to Tito Brian and Tito Eric! And of course, Dad for indulging me and PATIENTLY lining up and doing the lottery with me. I now pronounce you honorary thespian.
a Ghost with my Dad. He’s not exactly a fan of the…show tunes. However, this being a movie-turned-musical of his time, I convinced him to “try not to sleep through it” and watch with me.
I was surprised to find out that he actually liked it. I found it so adorable when my Dad quipped, “I mean the music wasn’t anything great. But the effects were pretty good.” Hearing my Dad give his input on something that I’ve always been passionate about (and something that my Mom and I usually bond over)—that was priceless.
Towards the end of the play, I caught a glimpse of an old couple beside me. (Grandpa reaches for his wife’s hand and kisses it.) Of course, I’m bawling by the finale. Typical. Ha-ha.
SAB AWARD FOR:
That scene on the train had stunning visuals/special effects AND choreography–it was a feast for the eyes! That, and the scene where he goes through the door for the first time. If you’re wondering about the pottery scene, it was nothing special. Ha-ha.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Aside from the fact that it stars Christian Borle (HI. I LOVE YOU.), I was looking forward to seeing this because I’ve always loved the story of Peter Pan. I think it’s one of the most poignantly & beautifully written stories of all time.
Embarrassing as this sounds, there was a lot of knee-slapping and umm…. snort-level-laughing, but I just couldn’t contain myself. The show was beyond hilarious and riveting, I had to ask myself “Why have I not read this??”
Imagine an almost bare stage with just a few pieces. It was nearly empty, save for a rope, a few props and boxes. I mean, I’m all for extravagant sets that scream “PRODUCTION VALUE!!” but I’m such a fan of shows that can ‘get by’ and do wonderfully with just the script and acting, driving it.
In addition to the wonderful material, the actors were AMAZING. To have that kind of discipline on stage, to be that in sync, to have that much commitment—it was just so inspiring and challenging at the same time. I kept thinking, “Wow. I am so in love right now. Can I really give this up?”
SAB AWARD FOR…
- ACTING: Christian Borle!!! Need I say more? Ha-ha. Captain Hook aside, everyone in the cast contributed to create such a magical and creative atmosphere.
- DIRECTION: Props to the director! I am such a fan of your work. You had me in stitches.
I have been listening to the music NONSTOP—in my room, in the car, in the loo, and everywhere else in between. Because the music’s been stuck in my head, I was able to play the chorus of “Falling Slowly” on the piano by ear/“making kapa”, as Mom called it. Ha-ha.
I have a feeling we’ve got a “Sweeper”. This musical will be taking home quite a number of Tonys, methinks.
The music is just chilling. (Thank you, CJ Corona. Ha-ha) From the moment you enter the theater, you already have the musicians onstage, playing as they would in an actual bar or pub. Quite interestingly, during the intermission, the stage is transformed into an actual bar where the audience can come up on stage and purchase drinks. Of course, I got up on stage. That was like, my broadway debut if you think about it. Ha-ha!
I was absolutely mesmerized by the multi-talented/musically-gifted cast members. They inspired me to go back to playing the piano and perhaps, even relearn the violin.
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti led the mind-blowing cast of Once in what I bet will be the Best Musical of the Year. When I handed over my playbill to Cristin, all I could say was “Your accent was spot-on. How did you? How did you? How did you???” (Really, Sab?? That was the best you could come up with?). And of course when the hotness that was Steve Kazee came out, I blurted out the most inappropriate thing and said “Laglag Pant…”, to which my Tito Brian (who was born and raised in the US) responded “What’s that?” I swear, the things I learn from my theater friends. I AM A SHAME TO THIS FAMILY. HAHAHA.
SAB AWARD FOR:
MUSIC: I have been playing it nonstop. For about a month now. A little exagg, I know. But it’s just so moving. And I find it so incredible that the cast’s the band and the band’s the cast.
Here’s a clip on Youtube if you want to get a preview:
THE BOOK OF MORMON
Oh my goodness. The travails of getting tickets to this one…just unbelievably, heartbreakingly funny!
Day 1: Sold Out. Option? SRO. So I’m lining up at the SRO Window, with my Dad and Tito Eric. There are 22 of us. I’m told they have 25 tickets up for grabs. I’m clenching my fist (and butt), hoping for a miracle… After minutes of lining up, I’m just a person away from the counter…
Tito Eric goes, “It would be so funny if you got to the window, and he’s like ‘Sorry, I gave away the last one.” (We all laugh hysterically. Bad F-ing Idea. Totally tempting fate. Totally tempting fate.)
So I get to the window and just as I’m about to open my mouth to say “Just one”, he looks at me blankly and goes “Sorry, I just sold that lady the last one.” (while shutting the blinds)
It’s like the wind got knocked out of you/me. Did that just happen? Seriously?? I was there!! I was so close!! COME ON!!!!
Day 2: Tito Brian and I are RUNNING (in Times Square nonetheless. We’re so glamorous that way) rushing to get to the lottery for The Book of Mormon. We get there just in time and I’m able to put in my name. As they announce the winners, reality dawns on me and I’m thinking “Dude, what are the odds?” As expected, we’re NOT called. And so the battle continues…
Thankfully, my Dad was already second in line at the SRO window. He had been lining up for hours. HOURS. He stays in his place, while I try to line up at the Cancellation Counter. Talk about desperate. But I was willing to kill to watch this show. Yes, I’m that intense. Ha-ha.
As fate and God would have it, my Dad successfully bought two tickets at the SRO counter, and I stare at the tickets for minutes, completely awed and indebted to my one and only Dad. He lined up in the cold for 2 hours. Best Dad (and Boss). EVER.
On to the show…
I didn’t get to warn my Dad about the nature of this musical. I guess, he was expecting some chirpy/typical musical. Little did he know he was about to see the most irreverent musical on the planet. While I’d be quick to say that this may not be for everyone, I found the musical bizarrely insightful.
A lot can be said about today’s sanctimonious religious fanatics. This musical shed light on the matter and even went as far as dabbling into sexuality, gender politics, racism and such. As a Catholic, I have to admit there were moments of discomfort. But overall, I understood the overwhelming audience and the clamor to see the show.
SAB AWARD FOR:
SCRIPT: I have to hand it to the creators of South Park. They’ve made Broadway more flexible and accepting of issues/topics not often discussed or tackled. They created one gutsy musical!
And so ends my little tale. Until the next New York trip! Gunning for my 5th! Thank you God for the gift of life, theater, love and family. Wouldn’t have been there/here without you.