December 8, 2017

New York, New York

I miss NYC at Christmastime. I miss NYC at other times, too. But especially at Christmastime.

Deer figures of blue lights, bare trees wrapped in red or white lights, near Rockefeller Center, New York, New York
When I was a child, it was a regular treat to make a trip to the city, admire the wondrous tree and the skaters at Rockefeller Center, the elaborate animated window displays, and all the colorful decorations.

Strand of giant colored Christmas lights along the sidewalk, bare trees wrapped in white lights in the background, near Rockefeller Center, New York, New York
It's a longer trip now, but I'm a grown-up. I bought a plane ticket.

I made a list, and checked it twice. My flight landed early enough to take in a Friday night Broadway show.

Giant red Christmas ball ornaments stacked above a fountain, trees wrapped in white lights, near Rockefeller Center, New York, New York
My first choice was The Band's Visit, a stage adaptation of an Israeli film (though I didn't know that when I chose it). It was well-reviewed and perhaps not likely to play elsewhere. Plus, it presented an opportunity to see Tony Shalhoub (live!) in one of the leading roles.

Marquee signs for the Broadway musical "The Band's Visit," 243 W 47th Street, New York, New York
I scored a ticket, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed for the box office of the next show on my list—securing a ticket for tomorrow's matinee.

Theatres sometimes (always?) hold back a few good seats “just in case” they need to accommodate someone special, or to recover from some mishap—a patron unhappy with his or her seat, a botched ticket. At some point, they might decide to release the hold. I believe this is how I ended up with a Broadway producer (Pamela Cooper) on my right, and a guy affiliated with the show on my left, jotting down notes that he would later take backstage.

Pamela (and the random theatre-goer to her right, who positively gushed about Pamela's Come From Away) convinced me that I should add that one to my list. It should have won the Tony for Best Musical, of that they were sure. The 9/11 theme had given me pause. (It will tour, if I don't make it back to Broadway soon enough.)

Pamela had brought Ben Vereen (seated elsewhere) to the show. From the deep recesses of my memory, I recalled the day my mom took me to my first Broadway show (Pippin). Starring ... Ben Vereen.

Tonight's musical comedy was bittersweet, and evidently starting a theme for the works I'd chosen: ordinary people, leading ordinarily complicated lives, learning about themselves and each other as they make their way in our complicated world.

After the show, I found my way to Rockefeller Center, merging into the Friday-night crowd taking selfies with the famous tree

Christmas tree above the Prometheus fountain, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York
 and the angels

Angels made of white lights with long golden trumpets along the promenade leading to the Christmas tree, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York
and the elaborate light show on the front of Saks Fifth Avenue).

Multi-colored castle light display, Saks Fifth Avenue, near Rockefeller Center, New York, New York
I love NYC at Christmastime!

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