Monday, December 15, 2014

New York City Dream Trip - Part 1 - First FridayT

It was an accident that this trip came together, all because of the musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. I saw it in May when I was in New York, and I recently told a friend about it. Anna and I worked together at Velma Teague in Arizona. After I told her about the show, she listened to the soundtrack, fell in love with it and the pieces on YouTube. She asked if I'd go to New York with her in January, and was shocked when I said yes. Then, she learned Bryce Pinkham, one of the stars was leaving on January 4 to take a role in The Heidi Chronicles. When she asked, I picked a week in December, and said I could go then. It became my dream trip - ten plays in eight days, plus a radio broadcast, Radio City Music Hall, and much more. But, most of all, the plays. I'm passionate about live theater.

I'll give you a day-by-day recap of this dream trip. If you don't care, that's fine. You can choose not to read the blog for a few days. But, I don't know if/when I'll ever have a trip like this again.

I flew out of Nashville on Friday, Dec. 5. Although Evansville has an airport, I could fly Southwest with a non-stop flight from Nashville. Nashville's airport? I never saw so many musicians going through the airport with guitars.

Anna and I met up at the hotel, Candlewood Suites. She flew in from Phoenix to JFK. I flew into LaGuardia. And, she had done a beautiful job with our itinerary for the trip. Her British friend who said she organizes with military precision is correct. But, we never would have been able to do what we were able to do without that schedule.

Dinner that first night was at a Broadway legend, Junior's. I always try to get there at least once for their cheesecake. A Reuben and Junior's cheesecake says Broadway to me.

And, then we went to see our first play, Love Letters with Alan Alda and Candice Bergen. A.R. Gurney's play was in cycle with various stars playing the two roles. Alda and Bergen played long-time friends who wrote letters to each other from the time they were children in school together. They had turbulent lives. For those who saw Alan Alda in  Same Time, Next Year, it was reminiscent of that movie. The staging of this play puts the two actors at a table, reading their letters to each other. Alan Alda was strong. Candice Bergen blew me away. She was wonderful. Unfortunately, they closed out the cycle last night, before the next set of actors took over. I'm happy that I was able to see these two in this play before it closed.

This is just a teaser. Watch for all the pictures and play summaries in the next days.


Cleo Coyle said...

What an amazing trip you had to NYC, Lesa! I’m looking forward to the recap of the many shows you attended, and I must thank you for recommending Love Letters. Marc and I went last night, and we were glad to see the theater packed for the final show on Broadway. Candice Bergen was indeed brilliant. For me, seeing Alan Alda was emotional. Like so many of his fans, I've enjoyed his performances all my life. I believe his last stage role, before this one, was back in 2005 (when he won a Tony for Glengarry). He's 78 now and this performance felt like a final act in a stellar career. I'm sure he'll do more work in film and television, but this may have been his last appearance on stage, and Marc and I are glad we took the chance to see it, largely due to your advice. So thank you again! As for Junior's, we’re with you on that one. Marc went for the brisket, but I’m a Reuben girl all the way. (I had mine with pastrami, oh, baby.)

Margie Bunting said...

Lesa, I've been waiting for your recap--it's like music to my ears, since I am a Broadway fanatic. Bring it on! By the way, we had an understudy in one of the major roles in Kinky Boots in SF Sat. night, and he blew everyone away. It reminded me of one of your posts last week.

Lesa said...

Isn't Broadway glorious? I was talking to one of the staff members at the library this morning, and he said there's nothing like seeing a show on Broadway. I totally agree!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you could go with me, Lesa -- such a fabulous time! I'm still humming a mix of Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder and Cabaret.


Reine said...

Lesa, I'll be here to hear about your entire dream trip. Would not miss it!

A Reuben with cheesecake at Junior's makes it perfect. Although I think I had a hot pastrami there way back when pastrami wasn't lean and had all the flavor. I hope they still make it that way but few places do now.

I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip!

Lesa said...

That's an odd mixture, Anna. I'm glad we were able to make that trip together! Thank you.

Lesa said...


We had pastrami at the Carnegie Deli. Very good pastrami! Thank you! The trip couldn't have been any better.

Melissa Bo said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! =)

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

Shannon J said...

It's been fun reading the recap of your trip. When we're stuck in the Midwest, and don't do a lot of traveling, it's fun to live vicariously. I've been to NY twice. Once, when I was 9, and really didn't appreciate Broadway.
The last time was three years ago with my recently found brother for a walk-on opportunity on the Rachael Ray Show. They called us one day before we had to be there to arrange flight schedules, so it left little to no time for planning an itinerary. We did make it down to Times Square and Broadway but didn't get to take in any shows. We were excited to get to the NYPL to see the lions. It sounds like your trip was packed full of good stuff. I hope someday to make it back there but if I don't, I'll always enjoy reading about what others do while there.

Lesa said...

You did get a rush job into NYC, didn't you, Shannon? But, that was an opportunity to remember, a walk-on for the Rachael Ray Show! I'm glad you did get to see Times Square. I don't spend a lot of time there, but I always go once on the trip so I can see it. There's nothing like it! I hope you get back someday, to experience a little more of the city.