Wednesday, March 4, 2009

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

How is it that my week of seven vacation days is more than half over? Once I begin to relax, and do what I want at a pace that I choose, the hours really do seem to move much more quickly on any clock in the house. This manifestation of the rules of physics will be given an additional push this Saturday/Sunday night when we folks in the States will be commanded to Spring forward. We will lose an hour's sleep.

I intend to get lots of hours of sleep stored up between now and then. Waking up on Sunday and motivating downtown to the shop should be easy. Ah, but that is a few days off.

Since I am not leaving my home town (big city) during this week off, I did want to treat myself to something extravagant. Today, I chose to take an early afternoon subway ride down to Times Square, and see if I might snag a ticket for a matinee performance of the revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. The play is currently in previews ... unfortunately ticket prices are not reduced during this final trial run. But ... the tickets are available to the last minute fan like myself.

So, I handed over my credit card to the rather flustered man in the ticket office, and got my admission card to a fine seat in the orchestra (stalls) seats.

I have always been a Noel Coward fan, but have never before seen this play as a play, though I know that I did see the film.

Drawing me to this afternoon at the Shubert Theatre was another chance to see the truly marvelous Angela Lansbury. On one of my very first visits to New York (I was still in school) I saw Ms Lansbury in the original Broadway production of Mame, and have quite enjoyed her performances in various media since then. Portrait of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate, and even her long-running whimsical tv series as amateur detective Jessica Fletcher.
Today's cast also include Rupert Everett, Christine Ebersole, and Simon Jones (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe) and others.
I love seeing revivals. It is fun to see how the wit holds up, how the modern director decides to honor the past, and usually one can count on the play being a well-crafted survivor.
I did quite enjoy this afternoon's performance, even it the critic who lives inside my head definitely notices a few technical glitches and a few flubbed ... but quickly recovered lines. If I were lucky enough to have access to the director, Michael Blakemore, I would also give him a few tips on getting some of the cast to be a bit warmer towards each other. I had the sense of some of them being a bit too much on their own individual spot of the turf.
Still. How lovely it is to live in this city, amongst all its challenges and problems to be solved, and still ... on a free Wednesday, to suddenly decide to go to see a fine bit of theatre, and to be able to be sitting in a fantastic seat an hour later.
I did take along a package of cough drops, and by repeatedly unwrapping a lozenge and popping it into my mouth, managed to keep my recovery from my cold to myself. I am a well-mannered audience member who loves to applaud the cast at the final curtain.
Sweet dreams to all.


  1. Good for you for giving yourself that treat, Frances. A week off ought to hold more than rest (as much as you needed it!)and it sounds as though you picked a wonderful afternoon. We've all heard of Broadway, but though I've spent time in NYC, a big city show has never been on the schedule. Just a little envious!
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your days off.

  2. I can just imagine AL as Madame Acarti[sp?]. What a lovely treat.

  3. Lucky you! I love Noel Coward and saw Blithe Spirit (but many years ago, and the memory is foggy). I hope you continue to enjoy your holiday - though I generally find that at the end of a break I need another holiday to recover!

  4. Lucky you! I love Noel Coward too. Our amateur group did this play a few years ago and I designed and made the costumes - the women's, that is, not the mens. Roughly how much do you pay for theatre tickets in NY ($s will do I can work it out) Theatre going is expensive here and we don't go now as often as we used to.
    Enjoy the rest of your week, Frances.

  5. What a treat! That was an interesting cast too.
    Enjoy the few days left of your week Frances, have as many treats aas you can!

  6. Well done you for giving yourself a treat, those live performances are ones you don't forget. Interesting to read your reactions, let's hope someone involved in the production is a fan of your blog and picks up on what you felt. As for well-behaved audiences... I am truly dismayed at how inconsiderate some folks are in a theatre or at a concert. The ones who behave as if they're sitting in front of the telly, chatting and eating, really annoy me! Phew! Enough! I hope the rest of your holiday is enoyably slow.

  7. I like to do gallery crawls in Chelsea and then have a nice late lunch, but you're up there with the museums, there's bound to be something amazing at the Met. The Armory shows start tonight, perhaps you'd enjoy that!

  8. Love coward! You are lucky and I aode going to the theatre and cinema alone too then one can sit back and enjoy and not worry about whether your companion is enjoying it too!

  9. I love Blithe Spirit too, i wish I had been there with you! Well done you for treating yourself.

  10. Thanks for taking us along Frances, I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.

  11. Hello Frances. Did enjoy that trip to the theatre with you. You write that your clock speeds up when you are on holiday. Mine is thankfully the reverse. When I have nothing to do - time slows to a crawl. A few days away at the Mill seems like a month compared to being at my desk where the day passes in a mini-blink.
    Enjoy your hols!

  12. Oh lucky you to get to the theatre just like that. And what a great show with fab actors.
    Such a luxury to go somewhere like that on your own. On the few occasions I have done it I have felt like I have been playing hookey somehow. Although I miss saying 'did you like that' or what did you think of that' afterwards.

    Sounds like you have been having a ball over there on your week off.
    Hope the cold is still disappearing.

    How interesting that you start your summertime before us. How does that work??