New York City Theater – Fall 2017

We try to get to New York City at least twice a year to catch up on on theater, museums, restaurants and galleries. As usual, we crammed in 5 plays in 4 days—our normal diet on our all too short trips to NYC.

Dear Evan Hanson

We bought the tickets more than six months ago, paying ultra-premium prices to see the Tony-winning star turn of Ben Platt. We missed him by less than a week. Unfortunately, the several hundred dollar premium we paid over current pricing was still enforced even through the star had left. However, we still walked away loving the show. This sensitive production starred Noah Galvin in a very compelling performance with a strong supporting cast in a profile of a lonely high school student who accidently finds himself weaving a comforting, if totally fabricated story surrounding a classmate’s suicide. An excellent production.

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Hello Dolly

We were able to get one of the rare chances to experience the indomitable Bette Midler before she leaves the show in January. Just seeing this legend paying a role she was born to play was itself worth the price. Co-star David Hyde Pierce, the incredible choreography and fabulous sets and costumes were icing on the cake. Too bad that many of the numbers and sight gags dragged on so long. It would have been fabulous if the Divine Ms. M retained the range and projection of her earlier years, this was too much to hope for.

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The Band’s Visit

We saw an unprecedented third musicals during this trip—very unusual for a drama-obsessed couple that rarely sees any musicals. This show, in a very close decision between it and “The Wolves” tells a small story of a small Egyptian band that mistakenly ends up in a tiny, remote Israeli settlement. The story is small in that it focuses on the relations formed between the individual band members and the townspeople who took them in for the night and the ways in which they changed the individuals. Very sweet, although I personally felt that it would have been more satisfying with less music and a deeper exposition of the people and their relationships.

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The Parisian

Uma Thurmond plays a beautiful and charming, but also ruthless and philandering, Washington wife who will stop at nothing to help her husband score a desired judgeship in the Trump administration. The fun show earns a number of cheap, but juicy laughs with several snide references to the President and the administration. Not a lot to it, but good fun.

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Jesus Hopped the A Train

This Off-Broadway drama provided contrasting philosophical and religious perspectives on justifications and remorse for murders committed by two very different inmates in adjoining cells. One committed eight cold-blooded murders before turning to god—not so much for redemption as to better understand himself and to take responsibility for his actions. The other who purposely wounded a cult leader (who subsequently ended up dying from an infection) and who effectively prays for mercy, but is non-committal about religion and God. Fascinating, although the first act could be cut by about 15 minutes.

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Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

This (along with Hamilton, which we saw last year) is the other virtually impossible Broadway ticket. Unfortunately, we had less success with the ticket sale lottery than we had in scoring other sold-out show tickets. This, therefore, is one sold-out show (at least of those we wanted to see) that we will not be able to see.

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