Friday, March 09, 2012

NYC, Part Two

You know how a secret is not really a secret, it's available for everyone, yet it still feels like it's a secret? Maybe I'm not explaining this well enough. It's like the difference between being ignorant and being stupid. When you're stupid, there's no excuse, but when you're ignorant, well, you just don't know (or know any better) until someone points it out to you.
Even after having spent over 20 years in and around the military, I forgot about the USO.
They served me Thanksgiving dinner in Jacksonville NC in 1983 - without them I wouldn't have had anything. Nothing other than the chow hall, if it was even open that day. I'm sure it was, but still. Gotta love the USO.
And I've always had a deep respect for the USO. They are bi-partisan in all things, staffed primarily by volunteers, and are there to support the troops and their families. Period.
While in Connecticut, I was angsting to Major Knitter about my need to get tickets to a Broadway show so we could take the SIL out for her birthday.
And of course I was dying to see Godspell.
But really, it was for her.
That's why I chose Godspell.
(Do you see where this is going?)
So as I'm telling Major Knitter how expensive the tickets were for the show, she said, "Go to the USO."
Both hubby and I kind of stood there, catching flies (my normal pose), and said, "Duh. We never thought of them."
Major Knitter dialed the phone right then and talked with someone at the front desk, and then put the phone in my hand and told me to ask them the questions I needed answered.
Come to find out, the USO is in the Port Authority bus terminal three blocks up from our hotel.
Told you it was in a good location.
We had to go there, and what a great place.
Staffed by volunteers, you do need to have a military ID to get in, and also to use their discounts, but they have over 10 pages of discounts on Broadway shows, as well as information about other military discounts in the NYC area (restaurants, the zoo, Empire State Building, things like that).
And to think that we just did not even consider the USO.
I'm appalled at my ignorance and lack of forethought, but hey, I didn't know what they offered.
Now I do, and you can bet I'll be back there.
When we went there we didn't think we'd be able to get the tickets I we wanted, so we discussed what shows we could go see.
I've been dying to see Mary Poppins - you can imagine how thrilled everyone was for that.
Second choice was Jersey Boys, but that's playing Rochester next month (and I really need to get tickets), so I'm satisfied seeing that here.
They did give us information on getting discounted (I hope they were) tickets to see Godspell, but said it wasn't available on Friday nights.
Now I'd love to tell you that I didn't get my hopes up to see this show before we came to NYC, and I'd also love to tell you that I didn't listen again and again via youtube to one of the songs from the show sung by the lead, and I also love to tell you that I'm okay when I don't get my way.
Unfortunately, none of those are true.
That last bit is more of a lifelong problem.
And I blame my mother.
So yes, Godspell was the show I wanted to see, so when we left the Port Authority, after an okay lunch at Chevys, I said to hubby, let's just stop at the Circle in the Square Theatre and see if we can get a discount on Godspell tickets.
You know this story is going to have a happy ending, don't you, and I'd like to refer you back to the I must always getting my way problem attitude with which I go through life.
Curse of the being the youngest.
So yes! they had tickets! And yes! we used our USO discount! And yes! we went to Macy's after that and I burrowed myself further into debt via my Macy's card.
After dinner, then, we all walked from Carmine's up to the Circle in the Square theatre, totally excited to see the show.
Hubby was kind of meh about seeing a show, but honestly, you come to NYC, and isn't that what you want to do? At least once during your trip, right?
Last time we went to see Wicked, that was the youngest one's request - and those tickets are phenomenally expensive, but the show is worth it, but Godspell tickets - not as much.
I'm a purist - I've never seen the Broadway show, but I have seen (and own) the movie, and the soundtrack, and it's on my iPod, and I listen to it often, etc., so I knew that I had to keep an open mind about any differences the show would take from the movie version.
I was so not disappointed.
By either the change, or by how much more fantastic they made it.
It was incredible.
The energy was palpable in the theatre, and  the show was updated to reflect a more contemporary theme while still remaining true to the original.
At intermission the entire audience was invited up on stage to share some wine (aka grape juice), and there was a lot of audience participation with the cast throughout the show.
I'd go see it again - USO discount or not.
And I bought the soundtrack CD, so now I can go between the movie version and the stage version.
Hubby is not big on musicals - he just finds it hard to believe that people would just break into song - but he didn't mind Godspell. 
Mostly because the actor, Hunter Parrish, who plays Jesus also plays Silas in the Showtime series Weeds, and hubby loves that show.
Sometimes it's about peaking interest through connections.
After the show ended we went outside and hung out with a group of folks to see if we'd won the drawing to be allowed backstage to meet the cast.
We didn't.
But it's okay, because two of the cast members were outside!
First we saw Lindsay who played, well, Lindsay - incredible voice - here she is signing autographs.
And then we got to meet the Jesus player himself - Hunter Parrish.
Can I just tell you, he is every bit as good looking in person as he is in this picture.
And unbelievably talented.
Oh to be half my age and my size.

I barely recognize my little one in this picture, but it's because she had her makeup done at the Benefit counter at Macy's. Sometimes I look at this picture and think she's some random girl who got into the middle of the frame with us.
A good time was had by all, and even walking home in the rain did not impact my our good mood after seeing this delightful and inspiring show.
And now that you're all anxious to go see it, or at least get the movie version, here's a Youtube video featuring Hunter Parrish singing "Beautiful City."
Why this hasn't been released as a single on its own is beyond me.
I'd buy it.
Oh wait, I already did.
Tomorrow we leave for Virginia.
Did I tell you, that's where Hunter Parrish is from.
It's providential, don't you think?

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