We actually woke up at a reasonable hour today. Well, let me rephrase that. The alarm went off at a reasonable time today (7am), and we got up with barely enough time to make things work. Got off the taxi a the dock at 9:10 or so, with a 9:30 departure time. Had a lovely cruise around Manhattan Island that lasted 3 hours, and even had a roof-like shade protecting us from sunburn! Breakfast on the boat was an apricot danish for Jen and a bagel for me, with a refillable Coke mug to split. Oh, and I had an apple -- the hotel has perpetually filled bowls of green apples in the lobby, so I've been having one pretty much every day on the way out.
Anyway, we had our tour and I took FAR too many pictures - but I don't want to post them until after we get home and I have chance to play with them a bit. I've got panoramics to make. The main impression we both had was one of illusion -- Jen had trouble wrapping her head around the surrealness of the Statue of Liberty being a three dimensional object a few hundred feet from us, and I had trouble wrapping my head around the buildings not being a part of the Universal Backlot. Other than that, a very nice trip.
We got off the boat and walked back to the Theatre district, where we picked up the tickets to our two shows for today. Looking at the showtime for the matinee, we realized it started at 2 (not 3, as expected), which meant that we had considerably less time for lunch. No problem - we grabbed some chicken meals from a nondescript fast food joint (they were OK, but not great) and got back to the theatre to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Third row balcony seats -- but the balcony was lower than we expected and had sufficient stadium seating, so they were actually fantastic seats. VERY fun show, which was enhanced by Norbert Leo Butz and John Lithgow cracking each other up a couple of times in the show. I always enjoy seeing quality actors having fun with each other in spontaneous ways, then fixing the situation in character and moving on. It was also fun to watch them trying to maintain poise after the big "Dirty Rotten Number," when the audience gave a several-minute standing ovation, when Jen and I knew there was another ten minutes to the show after it.
Anyway, I knew that Norbert Leo Butz was one of the two male leads in the show - he won the Tony for it, after all. What we didn't realize was that Sherie René Scott was the female lead. The name isn't all that familiar, and neither of those links lists is, but the two of them have worked together before, in a show that has recently become one of my favorite cast recordings to listen to. When Jason Robert Brown (music/lyrics of the show I linked to) did a concert in LA a couple of months ago, I made sure he signed the CD. For this trip, of course, I planned to pack it so Norbert could sign it too ------ and didn't. Other things on my mind, I guess. Still, I was determined to make it work. We took some time in between seeing Scoundrels and the next show to find a Broadway shop, where we found the piano/vocal book for The Last 5 Years. Now we're set -- except of course that the cast has long since left the theatre for dinner. No problem, we'll hit dinner as well, see our next show, and catch them after the evening show.
Meanwhile, we're only a couple of blocks away from where Spamalot is, and we have the camera this time, so let's grab a picture or two:
Dinner at Marseille, which we might not have tried if the back of Spamalot's Playbill didn't have Alan Tudyk recommending it. Alan was right - very good steak, the pomegranite drink I had was quite good, and the cheesecake was great. Oh, and Jen's french fries were some of the best I've tasted. Kosher salt seems to be a good ingredient for that kind of thing.
Off to the theatre. We finally get to see Avenue Q, which Jen's been singing songs from for weeks. We're both very excited, and the show doesn't disappoint. The happy surprise was Stephanie D'Abruzzo, who originated her roles and was nominated for a Tony for it, but who we thought had moved to Vegas for that edition of the show. Apparently not -- and we were very glad. She was amazing - showing every emotion in both her face and body, as well as in her puppets. The rest of the cast was very good, but she's the reason to see the show on Broadway at this point. Well, let me amend that -- some of the other original cast members were outstanding as well, and another highlight was Jennifer Barnhart, who voiced one of the Bad Idea Bears, but is mostly on stage as half a puppet here, or taking over a puppet that someone else doesn't have enough hands for there. She was very fun to watch, also showing all the emotions of all her characters, etc. Anyway, this is a show we'll enjoy seeing again, and are looking forward to the quartet-trip to Vegas for. =)
After Q, we went back to the Scoundrels stage door (just one block away), and waited for the stars to come out. The good news is we got the male stars: John Lithgow, Gregory Jbara, and Norbert (all three signed my program, and Norbert signed the songbook). The bad news is that neither of the females we were hoping for, Sherie René Scott and Joanna Gleason (the original Baker's Wife from Into the Woods), came out that door. Apparently they are both notorious for disappearing out the front door or some other exit and avoiding the crowds. Oh well - maybe Sherie will come to MTG or something in LA and I'll have another opportunity with her. Seems more likely than Norbert at this point.
But hey look, here's Norbert, wearing a Rangers shirt and a USC hat turned backwards:
Walked back to the hotel, set up tomorrow's wake-up call (7 again, ugh), and typed up this entry. Jen's asleep before I finish again, and I should join her. Only one show tomorrow, but that means we have opportunities for more tours. I'll post again, I'm sure... G'night!