One of the major benefits of a trip to Manhattan, New York, is being able to experience a Broadway show, that all American invention. We scheduled our trip shortly after the Tony Awards (NYC theatre) aired, so we could purchase tickets to shows that were awarded excellence in the various Tony categories. We searched for shows selected in the “Best Musical” or “Drama” category, as well as shows with “Best Actor” or “Best Featured Actor” among the cast.
My husband picked “Fish In The Dark” as the show he most wanted to see. It was written by Larry David (Seinfeld) and starred Jason Alexander. It’s like an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for the stage. We laughed non-stop for 2 hours.
Another funny show we saw was the musical, “Something Rotten,” which was nominated for 10 Tony awards. Christian Borle won the Tony for “Best Featured Actor,” for his portrayal as Shakespeare. The story revolves around a group of actors and a playwriting set of brothers in Renaissance England who are in competition with Shakespeare to put on a hit show. The lyrics to the songs were particularly cleaver.
As serious theatre goes, we saw “The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time.” I was prepared for this show, as I had read the book a few years ago. It’s about an autistic boy who is lost in NYC. It won 5 Tony awards, including “Best Play.” I enjoyed it very much, but my husband thought the realistic portrayal of autism with shouting, lights flashing, loud noises, etc.. was too much to take. The lead actor, Alex Sharp, was incredible.
Another serious show was “Fun Home” which won the Tony for “Best Musical.” This is not a typical musical, as it is performed in the round, and the subject matter is dark at times. It’s about a gay father raising a lesbian daughter. We both found the play to be very heartfelt.
Our final show was the ballet-oriented musical, “An American In Paris.” This show just celebrated it’s 100th performance. The songs are Gershwin, and the show is based on the movie of the same name. It’s a love story which takes place after the end of WWII and features a young American soldier/artist and the French girl he falls in love with. Jerry Mulligan and Jill Paice, the stars, are beyond compare in both their dancing, singing, and acting. At 2 1/2 hours, this show mesmerizes the whole way through.
In between Broadway shows, we filled our time with some fabulous activities. We went to the new Whitney Museum, now located in the Meat Packing District over looking the water. The multi-story museum includes outdoor areas for seating and dining. While we found some of the art to be disturbing (child porn? photos of dead bodies) we were inspired by many of the pieces. Some of the art installations were puzzling to me…a sculpture made of human hair that looked like a spider, a video of a man wearing a tail rolling on the floor …Well, it’s all art.
Another stop was to Ellis Island on the ferry boat to experience what our ancestors went through when they arrived from Europe. Being herded onto the boat, we began to get the feeling that they might have had. Once we arrived at the Ellis Island Museum, however, is was so freezing cold with air conditioning that it was hard to “pretend” we were immigrants arriving there 100 years ago. Most of the exhibits were missing due to weather conditions and “Sandy, the Hurricane.” My advice would be to skip this one.
Shopping in NYC runs the gamut from street vendors selling knock off purses to high end designers on 5th Avenue. We decided to visit some of our favorite boutiques. Both of us like Zadig et Voltaire so we hopped into their shop in the Meat Packing District and took in their summer sale. For boots and shoes, I love Fiorentini + Baker so that is always a must-do. Lastly, I happened to see that Coach was having a sale on purses, so I grabbed up a darling straw bag for summer.
For an outdoor excursion, we strolled through Madison Square Park and walked under Teresita Fernandez’s Fata Morgana installation. It’s a mirror-type image suspended in the tree tops, which reflects the leaves and walkers below. It’s really breathtaking.
Lastly, we made a trip to Eataly, the food mall from Heaven (for Italian food lovers) and took in the sights and smells of everything Italian, from cappuccinos to fresh baked pastas and breads. We were on a mission to purchase the best Nougat candy we could find, as our daughter’s boyfriend loves it. Mission accomplished with D. Barbero. Our journey was now complete.