life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Overall, it was an enjoyable evening.

Our prize package included VIP parking.  Parking at the NYCB Theater at Westbury (to me, it's still the Westbury Music Fair) is free, but for a small fee you can park in a designated area.  It saved us about 5-0 minutes in exiting that nightmare of a parking lot.  

Our prize package also included entry into the P.C. Richard VIP club.  That meant we didn't have to deal with the crowd in the lobby, but could enter the building through the club entrance.  The club itself is just a curtained-off area of the bar, with nicer furniture and free potato chips on the tables.

It was nice having the VIP passes, but I wouldn't spend money on them if I were paying for a show.

Our seats were a little disappointing.  We were all the way in the back of the house.  Yes, I agree, there's no such thing as a bad seat at Westbury, but some seats --- up close to the stage -- are better than others.

The show itself....There was no opening act, just Smokey and his crew. Westbury is theater in the round, with the stage in the center and the seats all around it.  The band and backup singers were in the pit, and Smokey and the two dancers were on the stage.  He looks good -- if I didn't know how old he really is (71), I'd take him for a man in his late 50's or early 60's, though it's clear he moves like an older gentleman these days. The stage can rotate, but for this performance it remained still and Smokey made sure to play to all sides of the theater.  He sang for two hours, without intermission -- though at one point he left the stage and changed costume while the backup singers and saxophone player had their "moment".  It's a small venue, only 3,000 seats, which allowed Smokey  to have a lot of interplay with the audience.  The audience loved him, and he was feeding off of that love and having himself a grand old time.

Most of the songs he sang were from his time with the Miracles and his solo hits from the 70's (notably absent from this was "Shop Around").  He also sang some songs he wrote for the Temptations -- "My Girl" became a huge audience participation number.  He told a great Stevie Wonder story (and did a great impression of Stevie) before singing their collaboration, "Tears of a Clown".

The only part of the show that dragged a bit was when he sang three songs off his most recent CD.  Three ballads that sounded so much alike...but he got back on track with "Tracks of My Tears".

He ended the show with an audience-participation version of "Cruisin' Together".  And no, he doesn't do an encore.

We'd planned on going out for a nice diner after the show, but were so tired from all the singing and clapping and etc.  that we wound up just stopping at a diner for a quick bite before heading home.

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