Sunday, March 17, 2013
Weekend Update: Happy Hunting
Taking a nice break from the ed wars, what a treat this afternoon/evening attending the New York Theatre Company review, Happy Hunting, at the theater at St. Peter's church on 54th and Lexington. I only went because I took the car all day yesterday for the NYCORE conference and felt I owed my wife even if I expected to be bored to death. When I heard the usher tell someone the first act ran an hour and 40 minutes and I had to pee within 5 minutes of sitting down, I figured I was in trouble. Not wanting to step over the young Asian woman sitting next to me during the act -- she turned out to be a dancer studying with the choreographer -- I decided to grin and bear it. And it turned out to be a delightful show.
The NY Theatre Company terms their current 4 play series as "Musicals in Mufti", meaning they do not wear costumes or use sets and due to one week rehearsal times walk around with scripts in their hands. (There are only 3 performances of each play). There is some light choreography and some heavy duty singing by a fabulous cast. Happy Hunting was an Ethel Mermon vehicle in which she starred with Fernando Lamas and that turned into a disastrous relationship. Klea Blackhurst plays the Mermon role and you would think old Ethel was reincarnated. What a stage presence. All the actors sang and danced and acted and it was all so good.
Well, I got through Act 1 and raced to the bathroom. Act 2 was shorter and at no point did I dose -- an unusual event for me at a theater. Well, after a bathroom break and ready to leave, we realized there was a talk back event with all the actors and special guests so we went back in. And who were the special, special guests? Estelle Parsons who had been in the original show in 1956. And also a famed dancer and choreographer, Luigi, who sadly had to be helped onto the stage. But he is 88.
Well, we were treated to over a half hour of theater lore and stories. Even the actors were fascinated to learn new stories about the characters they were playing and about the original actors who first played their roles. The NY Theatre Company people had done tons of research on Happy Hunting and asked Parsons and Luigi many questions to clarify issues lost over the years.
So, what started out as an "owe you one" to my wife, turned into a fabulous afternoon, followed by a fine Beef Bourgignon at a French restaurant on 62nd and Lex.
We might take a shot at going to see Silk Stockings next weekend -- that is if my wife has it all together for the 25 sedar guests coming on the 25th. My bet is we are not going anywhere. But she can have the car all day Saturday and Sunday. I am not leaving the house given there is some basement and backyard work to do. We have had the construction guys here for 3 weeks with another 3 weeks to go - at least. Oy! The ed wars are a break.