I didn’t see as much theatre due to visitors and needing a rest after going to Boston, so this post actually went over a period of a little longer than 2 weeks.
The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare in the Park)
I saw what was possibly the first preview from memory. I went into it knowing the vague plot (I thought) from the modern adaptation that is “10 Things I Hate About You” which was one of my favourite movies at the time. It turned out that film was modernised extremely effectively, and that the original play is far more problematic, sexist, and dated, than I could have guessed.
This is well understood by people knowing more about theatre than me, hence many variations around the world which attempt to alleviate the awkwardness. In this case they use an all female cast, which boldly tells the audience that they know what’s going on.
The cast were all amazing, and fantastic comedians (I didn’t even know Judy Gold was in it, and I love her as a regular guest at Seth Speaks at Sirius XM). It succeeded in making the fun parts fun, and making the dodgy misogynist part at the end ridiculous (although some of the cast were annoyed about the audience booing during the final obey-your-husband speech from Kate).
She Loves Me
Again… this time I took a friend from Australia, and it was a glorious show for her first Broadway show ever. There was a technical stop, but the audience went wild as they didn’t shut the curtain, and cheered the men working on getting it going again. The parfumerie didn’t open or close for the first time in the run, I hope for their sake it’s the only time.
The main difference for me was that I stage-doored for the first time. Laura Benanti was so sweet to send out signed playbills as she’d had a cold, and was still recovering. I was thrilled to get a photo with Jane Krakowski, as I’ve been a fan ever since Ally McBeal. Zachary Levi puts on quite the show at stage door, and is extremely generous in that he signs for, and does photos with everyone, and even plays music to make it feel like a party. A great first NYC theatre experience for my visiting friend.
Daddy Long Legs
Again… for the last time since it was closing a week later, which is very sad, I got used to seeing semi-regularly, and loved it so much, but feeling so grateful that there is a cast recording.
Watch Megan’s sweet speech from the final show.
I’ll be following her for life thanks to this run, I really hope she’ll score a broadway role or do some solo concert work in NYC or anything, really, once she hopefully has a well-deserved break.
This one-man production stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Sam, a guy taking reservations for a crazy-famous restaurant, and everyone that Sam speaks to (over the phone). It’s a massively impressive feat for an actor to pull off so many characters, in different mannerisms and voices, and I felt he pulled it off like like a champion.
Whether I fully enjoyed it or not is not so definite, it had some very funny parts, and was satisfyingly and cleverly plotted, but I live with a flatmate who does a job much like this, so I hear similar real-life dramatic stories every day, making it hard to laugh lightly, given the stress that comes with it. One of the names mentioned in the play is even a regular at the restaurant she works at, making it feel even closer to home!