life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, April 7, 2011

mini trip report -- John's and the Al Hirschfeld theater.

One of my favorite Theater District restaurants is John's, located on 44th Street at 8th Avenue. Located in what was once a church, the place is famed for its brick oven pizza and its slogan "No Slices" (you can only buy a whole pie). It's loud, it's noisy, it's always crowded. and it's one of the best places for a quick Italina meal in the theater District.

Drew and I met for diner last night.  He had the linguini with white clam sauce, I had chicken parmigiana with penne in marinara sauce, and we indulged in garlic bread topped with melted mozzarella. 

The it was off to the Al Hirschfeld theater, 45th and 8th, for How To Succeed In Business wWthout Really Trying.

(I remember when the Al Hirschfeld was still the Martin Beck.  I saw Phylicia Rashad in Into the Woods, and there was a huge fairytale boot on the marquis of the theater. )

(And, of course, who could forget all those great drawings in the New York Times, Arts & Leisure section, all signed "Al Hirschfeld" , and the number next to his signature would tell you how many times he'd hidden his daughter Nins's name in the  picture.)

Well, How To Succeed is one of Drew's favorite musicals.He loves the movie from the mid 1960's starring Bobby Morse, and he was so disappointed not to have seen Matthew Broderick do the revival a few years ago, so when he heard that Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette were starring in a new revival of the show, he simply had to have tickets for it.    I'd seen part of the movie, but didn't have the same fondness for it that Drew does.

so we went last night, and I loved it.

The score isn't Loesser's best work -- that would be Guys and Dolls. But I did like the music, and the dance numbers.  I empathized with "Coffee Break", the song the office workers sing when the coffee machine turns up empty.  the show stoppers are "I Believe In You" and "Brotherhood of Man".

I have to admire Radcliffe.  He's only 21 years old -- that's very young to carry a show -- and this is the first time he's singing and dancing on the stage.  And to do a believable American accent for an American audience?  Radcliffe is still learning his craft, but he did a very good job in the role of finch. 

Larroquette, on the other hand, is an old pro -- even though this is his Broadway debut, he's had a whole career before live audiences, in off-Broadway productions, though he's best known for his work in television (Dan Fielding in Night Court is his most famous role.) He has a comic sense of timing that just won't quit.  the funniest bits in the show are between Radcliffe and Larroquette. 

After the show, Radcliffe and Larroquette remained on teh stage to pitch for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.  Twice a year Broadway Cares runs fundraising campaigns where theatergoers are asked to contribute to the proram. Cast members stand in the lobby after the show, holding buckets so that theater patrons can donate cash.  Radcliffe read a statement about all the good works the organization does, which led Larroquette to quip "You're British?"  (Gee, Harry Potter is British, imagine that!)  The Larroquette spoke about donating to the organization, and then Radcliffe autioned off the bow tie he wore during the performance -- he raised $2000. 

Drew bought a poster signed by everyone in the cast.  $200, all tax deductible because it's a donation to Broadway Cares. 

After the show, we walked through Times Square, then headed down to 34th Street to catch the railroad home.

This is the kind of NYC evening I live for!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

That. Sounds. AWESOME!

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