Company in New York City

No words can describe what Company was.  This is a show that hasn’t fully settled in my mind the enormity of what I experienced.  It was in a word:  Perfect.

It was just announced that it will be in theaters starting June 15th, 2011, and if your theater houses it, do yourself a favor and see it.  I will even though I saw it live, and I probably will go more than once.  If it comes out on DVD (oh please, oh please, oh please) I will pre-order it and watch it yet again.  This show made me smile.  It made me think.  I laughed and in the end I sobbed.  
First off, I wish I had bought the Doogie Howser shirt in the NBC store beforehand and worn it but thought it wouldn’t be appropriate.  Until Val pointed out to me the girl that had a sweatshirt that stated on the front “Legend– wait for it…” and on the back “…-dary!”.  Neil Patrick Harris fans a many.
Neil Patrick Harris got mad cheers as soon as he stepped out onto the stage.  To be expected.  And as soon as his mouth opened I got chills.  I’ve watched him since I was young and followed him throughout his career including musical which includes Rent, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, and that glorious episode of Glee directed by the amazing Joss Whedon.  NPH was exactly what I had hoped, but didn’t want to get those hopes up too high.  I hung on to every word and he was a perfect Robert – though weird to see him play a part so parallel to the Barney Stinson character on “How I Met Your Mother”.  

Stephen Colbert was the one that most critics and fans alike were flocking to this show for.  Sure, he had a musical Christmas Special (A Colbert Christmas:  The Greatest Gift of All) but can he hack it on stage?  Oh, and how he did.  The comedic timing with him Neil Patrick Harris and Martha Plimpton (who played his wife) was excellent.  And the “karate” moves along with some other acrobatics were not only great, but just too funny.  

Another plus for us was Christina Hendricks.  Being the Mad Men fans (and lover of her *ahem* assets) this last minute addition just sealed the deal that we made the right decision in our slight second choice of buying these tickets and booking a flight to New York City.  She played one of the three women that Robert is dating, a stewardess that’s kinda ditsy.  She was great, and who knew she could sing?  Plus watching hers and NPH’s clothes coming off was quite the bonus….oh, to be that silk sheet……on a nerdy note: Joss Whedon-verse’s collided with those two.  NPH being in several of Joss’s works and Hendricks in two episodes on the short-lived but still loved, Firefly.

Some other notables would be Katie Finneran who got the daunting task of singing “Getting Married Today” (the Sondheim-like song of extremely fast talking lyrics).  Anika Noni Rose (otherwise known as the Dreamgirl who’s name you didn’t know from the movie) was amazing with “Another Hundred People”.  And then Craig Bierko was a surprise to us of how good he was – a glance at the Playbill helped us realize he actually won a Tony for Music Man – so that answered that.  And then of course Patti Lupone who’s “Ladies Who Lunch” was flawless – down to slinging her martini on the front row of the audience.

In the end it was the most perfect show I’ve seen in my life.  I’m not quite sure how any show, if any show, will ever live up to it.  Though it was cruddy to be in NYC for about 48 hours or so, it was worth it every cent and every minute.  Come on June 15th!  
Oh!  And also, as a bonus to our Company weekend – we upped the ante on the Neil Patrick Harris love fest and went and visited McGee’s Pub – apparently this is the bar that Maclaren’s on “How I Met Your Mother” is based off of.  We found nice people watching the Yankees versus Red Sox game and made ourselves right at home! 
*note most of these pictures are not my own – I’m sure you can tell which ones! *wink*  They’re in fact from HERE and by the NY Philharmonic themselves. 
Has there been one show or event that’s changed your life?  I heard of someone proposing right after the show to their significant other – I think that’s definitely one to remember!

What do all these people have in common?

We’ll be seeing them in Company with New York’s Philharmonic on Saturday!!

Here’s a fascinating article about how everyone is rehearsing without being in the same space:
and HERE is a slideshow of the above people rehearsing.  *dream cast* 

As soon as Neil Patrick Harris walks on stage I just may faint.  And Stephen Colbert. And Christina Hendricks.  

I cannot wait to report back on this one.  

Who would you fly anywhere in the country or world to see perform in person?

Hair and Merchant of Venice

I’m going to make these next two quick, because one, there’s not much to say, and the other we didn’t come back after intermission.  So yeah, not so good. 

First off Hair – this was one of the list I wouldn’t have purchased if we didn’t have season tickets.  I saw the movie back in college and was not impressed at all.  I know some of the music.  I know my ex-hippie mom adores it.  That was about it.

But hey – it could be fun right?  
And it was.  
The audience was the fun part for me actually.  Seeing these ladies around my parents age having a blast, wearing old rock band shirts, and basically they would be dancing in the aisles if the ushers allowed them too.  

Otherwise, the sound was off and I couldn’t understand a lot of the lyrics.  The story is a bit lame.  The whole thing, audience included, reminded me of Rock of Ages.  So I can say I saw it, and I don’t need to see it again.

The following weekend we saw The Mechant of Venice which was brought to us by Theater for a New Audience.  Updating old shit basically.  And it’s still shit to say the least.  

I loathe this theater (Bank of America Theater) with a passion – but too bad since there’s three shows being put in here this season – so this was the first one.  Our seats were cheaper and much better than the last time we were here for Rock of Ages.  Note to people going to this theater – even in the first row of the dress circle you cannot see the entire stage.  So our new seats are first row balcony.  And though STEEP you can finally see everything!  

This show is throwing around the name F. Murray Abraham like crazy.  He looks familiar….not *too* familiar….I had to have IMDB help me out on that one.  Oh, he was Noah in Muppets From Space.  Okay.  That’s about all I know of him.

In short this was weird.  I know the story having studied Shakespeare for many years in college and high school.  Merchant is not one of my favorite plays to begin with.  And so with this one, it’s taking place in a Wall Street setting and instead of three coffins to choose from it’s three MacBooks.  Ummm….no.

Not to mention we could not hear ANYTHING coming out of the actors mouths.  And Mr. Abraham was the worst.  I think they weren’t miked and for that large of a theater that was unacceptable.  Every time they turned their backs to the audience there was practically silence.  And you could tell every time a joke happened, the main floor would crack up while upstairs it was silent.

Needless to say we left at intermission.  I bitched to Broadway in Chicago on Twitter.  They contacted me.  I emailed them.  They found my wife’s phone number (I would assume through our season ticket information) and called her.  I left a message regarding this and got no answer in return.  I didn’t want anything out of it to be clear, I just hope they got my email and phone message so that perhaps they could make sure this won’t happen again.  

It was a sad two shows though.  A waste of time and money.  

Next week we hit up New York to catch these fine folks in Company at the NY Philharmonic:

Neil Patrick Harris
Patti Lupone
Christina Hendricks
Stephen Colbert
Martha Plimpton
Jon Cryer
etc, etc, etc……

So hopefully that will make up for all the short falling as of late from Chicago’s offerings.  

Has there been a show, concert, or anything you paid a lot of money to see and left early?  Movie even?