Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where is Nicki?

Hello everyone...I know from talking to some of you that you've, uh, noticed how I haven't updated in awhile. For once, it's not because I haven't had anything going on. Quite the opposite, actually, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to update. Literally. I started writing a post about NYC last Sunday, but after my computer froze--twice--I gave it up and haven't been able to get back to it since. So! If it's all right with my loyal readers, I'll start there.

It was a flyby weekend...I trained up to New York on Saturday, arriving at about nine pm, thanks to a late train causing me to miss my connexion. After about five hours of sleep we were up again and on the train, back into the city. Some of you have met Alison, who is a friend from London...we actually met because I had a picture of Michael Cerveris on my computer. She saw it, said "You like Michael Cerveris?" and I said "You know who that is?" And thus we were friends.

The city was chilly at nine am, the sun not yet fully risen. A block out of Penn Station brought us to the Stage Door Restaurant where we had a wonderfully filling breakfast, cup after cup of coffee, in an atmosphere that was reminiscent of the song "Sunday" from Tick, Tick, BOOM! By the time we were done, the sun had risen and the temperature had gone up at least ten degrees, and the day was beautiful for trekking around the city. Now, Alison and I are diehard Londoners. New York...is nice. But compared to London, there is no comparison. However, we were feeling magnanimous, having tickets to see Michael live and in person, so the city took on a friendly glow. We trotted up to fifth avenue, window shopping along the way--well, except for when I found a pair of shoes at H&M.

Then, Hedda. We were sitting in box seats, so although part of the stage was obscured, we didn't have to lean around other people's heads. The show itself was good. Mary Louise Parker played Hedda, and she was fantastic, a chilly woman who is slowly coming to realise how trapped she is in a marriage she doesn't want, in a situation she didn't sign up for. The show itself felt slightly jerky--a problem of trying to update Ibsen with his exposition-heavy dialogue and archaic three-act format. But it was a good interpretation, with a fresh translation and new insight into the relationship between Hedda and Tesman. Alison and I were very much there for Michael Cerveris, who played Jorgen Tesman, Hedda's husband. We might have been slightly biased, but his portrayal was easily the best of the evening. He was tender, loving, enthusiastic and totally unaware of how his wife truly felt.

After the show we hung out by the stage door, waiting for Michael, surrounded by people who were mostly waiting for Mary Louise Parker. When he appeared he signed a few perfunctory autographs before Alison and I descended. "We actually met," I stammered out, "because I had a photo of you as Hedwig on my computer and Alison said, 'Is that Michael Cerveris?'" At which point Alison cut in, "And she said, 'You know who Michael Cerveris is?'" Michael seemed slightly bemused by our tandem enthusiasm. He scratched his name into my program, asked what I'd been studying in London, didn't really have an answer when I asked him when his next album was coming out, and finally dutifully submitted when I committed the ultimate act of fangirlery:


Then Alison and I went to Sardi's, which is an old-school, post-theatre restaurant where all the big shot producers and stars hang out, trying to get noticed. Remember in the Muppets Take Manhatten when Kermit sneaks into a restaurant with caricatures on the walls? Okay, that's Sardi's. We felt sort of out of our league, but the bartender made us feel at ease with his cheerful banter. Also G&T's that were well worth the New York prices. We then headed to the fabled ANGELO'S PIZZA, which I first sampled in 2000 when I was in NYC as part of the choir trip. The restaurant was not where I remembered it--apparently they've opened a new location--but the pizza was just as good as I recalled. We had proscuitto and sun-dried tomatoes on our pie, and it disappeared completely.

And then a nine o'clock train back to Schenectady. Naturally we had to dissect the entire show several times over ("What was your favourite part?" "The part where he touched me.") and giggle about spending a day in New York City. We had a good time. Twelve hours was just about right.

And then home on Monday...a week ago I was just sliding thankfully into bed after spending what felt like sixty percent of the past three days on a train. I still feel that way, although I've done my best to catch up on sleep. And to catch up here, obviously. I will try to stay more current...but be assured if I disappear for a few days, it means things are good, busy and happy.


Samantha said...

Oh New York, New York. How I miss trudging up and down Seventh and Eighth, leather coat billowing, neck firmly wrapped in a scarf, dodging throngs or tourists with my suitcase full of fabric before ducking into a tiny coffee shop on 39th and 7th and then proceeding into the dank, dark warmth of the NY subway...taking me back to Jersey. Was New York as brisk, gloomy and snowy as I recall?

Lisa said...

Yeah!!You and Michael in the same frame!!

Diane Fields from TheToymaker said...

That is the only part of New York i miss is the city. I am so happy you got to be a part of New York City. It is fun especially at the places theater people hang out. Great pic of you and Michael.