So a couple weeks ago my friend and I were in the mood to see a show – we didn’t really care which show, as long as it was pretty cheap. We started talking about it on Wednesday night and bought our tickets on Thursday night… for Friday night. Spontaneous planning is not often my thing, but it worked this time: We used my HIPTIX Gold membership with Roundabout Theatre Company to get us two $25 floor seats to the Harold Pinter play, Old Times.
If you glanced back up at the subject for this post you have already realized that this is not a review for that play, because my two-line review would be, “Wow, that play was really weird – I’m glad it was only 65 minutes long. I still have no idea what actually happened.” So instead of trying to explain this play to you, I want to tell you about the gorgeous place my friend suggested we go afterward, where we spent a solid hour and a half discussing the play and trying to decide what it was about: Lillie’s Victorian Bar & Restaurant.
A good show can you make you laugh, make you cry, or make you think. This weekend I saw a play that did all three – and managed to reach me exactly where I am at this point in my life right now.
I’d read about “Significant Other”, a play put on at the Laura Pels Theatre by the Roundabout Theatre Company, on the RTC’s website. Because of my Hiptix Gold membership* I’ve seen almost every show the RTC has done this season from $25 floor seats, and “Significant Other” sounded like something I’d enjoy. The sound-bite:
“Jordan Berman [Gideon Glick] would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan finds that supporting the ones you love can be just as impossible as finding love itself. […] Significant Other is a hilarious and heart-wrenching new play that takes us into the trenches of single life in the city, reminding us that you can’t hurry love—no matter how much you wish you could.”
The blizzard-that-wasn’t messed up my week a little — but also gave me a work-from-home day, so I’m calling it even. I was supposed to go to a concert on Monday night at Subculture, featuring Jason Robert Brown, Sierra Boggess, and (the real draw for my friend and me, since JRB is doing a whole series there and we can see him another time), the one and only Norbert Leo Butz. I saw him in “Big Fish” (he was great, the show wasn’t memorable), but otherwise haven’t seen him in anything – just fell in love with his voice as Fiyero in “Wicked” and Jamie in “The Last Five Years”. I’m bummed that it got canceled, especially since it’s unclear whether Norbert will be joining JRB in one of his other shows.
But I can’t really complain, because even without a Norbert sighting, this was a two show week for me. Wednesday night I went to see “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” (more on that soon, probably next week) and on Sunday, after that yummy brunch at Max Brenner, I went to see “Into the Woods”.*
I went to see Cabaret again this weekend – my friend who I went with last time had an extra ticket and so I got to go again! We had the same table as last time, except on the other side of the theater. Like I said when I went last time, I thought it was a fascinating show and I was really happy I got to go and see Emma Stone perform as Sally Bowles.
After going to see a ton of shows in June and July, I didn’t see a single play or musical for all of August and September. It was a long, dry spell that I finally broke this weekend with a trip to Studio 54 to see “Cabaret” with my friend. Studio 54 is gorgeous — it’s a former nightclub and the home of the 1998 “Cabaret” revival, and the orchestra level seating is made up of small tables. As you might be able to tell from this photo (the only one we took inside, since it’s not really allowed), we had a great view — table was in the first row of tiered tables halfway back. There was a walkway in front of us and the actors often used it to go up onstage and off.
I went two whole weeks without posting about theater. I mean, I posted about a concert, but come on, I gave you the break you needed, right? So to make up for lost time, have a doubleheader post about two very different musicals.
First, Violet. It closes on August 10, so if this sounds interesting, get thee to the (virtual) box office, and if you’re between the ages of 18 and 35, sign up for HipTix and get the $25 tickets.