life in and around NYC is insane

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Bright Lights of Broadway

So last Sunday we took the train into the city for an afternoon/evening of theater and dining.

From the abundance of pedestrians wheeling suitcases in the vicinity of Penn Station, it's clear that tourist season has begun.  It only gets more crowded from now until the end of December.

We walked up 7th Avenue towards our destination, the Cort Theater.  Along the way we stopped at a couple of food carts -- I wanted a pretzel and Drew wanted a hot dog.  Lots of business on the street these days -- food carts, guys selling t-shirts, scarves and hats, handbags, lithographs of the city, caricatures drawn while you wait...In Times Square you also see costumed characters.  All sorts of cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, and today we even saw Minions!  Also saw the Statute of Liberty, "Elvis" and the famed "Naked Cowboy".  Even saw a couple of mean-looking aliens ready to take over the galaxy.

Our destination, as I said, was the Cort Theater.  We had tickets for  Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot.  Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McClellan star in this production, which they are doing in repetoire with Harold Pinter's No Man's Land.

Waiting for Godot  is one of those Great Works of Literature I read back in college.  And you know what?  I didn't like it when I read it.  For that matter I didn't like Camus, Ionesco, Sartre ... guess I'm not into Existentialism.  All that angst and despair over the meaninglessness of life just doesn't sit well with me.    But Drew wanted to see the play, and  I could watch Patrick Stewart and Ian McClellan recite the phone book and be satisfied.

Guess what?  I still don't like the play.  But the cast is excellent.  Stewart and McClellan are amazing.   There is humor, passion, despair...all the range of human emotion. 

Afterwards, we waited at the stage door so that Drew could have the cast autograph the poster he bought.  Yes, he got all the autographs he came for.  And who should show up but LeVar Burton, one of Stewart's co-stars in Star Trek:The Next Generation.  Made my night.  Unfortunately we didn't get his autograph, but it was great to see him nonetheless.  (Drew tells me he met Michael Dorn a few years ago; Brent Spiner was starring in 1776 on Broadway, Dorn was in the audience, and Drew was the only one to recognize him without the Klingon make up.)

Dinner was at Sardi's, a Broadway institution.  I've walked past Sardi's a thousand times, but never went inside to dine before.  Downstairs are the rooms open to the public, the walls lined with caricatures of the famous and infamous of Broadway past and present.    Upstairs are the Actor's Equity rooms, with their special menu. 

Our table was located under pictures of Anne Meara and Neil Sedaka, among others.   We ordered two appetizers, the Sardi's shrimp in garlic sauce and the tomato mozarella salad.  Both were excellent.  Drew ordered the steak, which was served with mashed potatoes and asparagus.  (Yes, I think he could eat steak every day...)  I had a chicken marsala with risotto, serve with green beans.   We broke with tradition and actually ordered dessert and coffee -- he had the cheesecake (yum!) and I had some incredibly decadent dessert called   Boccone Dolce  -- fresh strawberries, whipped cream, meringue and a touch of chocolate.  Heaven on a plate.

An incredible meal,  why did I wait so long to go?

Sardi's on Urbanspoon

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