Saturday, June 28, 2008

Broadway - Grease

Last night we went to our first Broadway show since arriving in the big apple. We had been planning for a while to hit a show, just hadn't pulled the trigger.
Yesterday morning I headed down to the Seaport area TKTS booth, arriving around 10:20 or so. I'd heard the lines can be very long, and I figured I'd get there before the booth opened at 11:00 so there would be a pair of tickets for us together. It was a quick subway ride to the Fulton Street station, and maybe 10 very short blocks to get to the Seaport area. I'd describe it as a Faneuil Hall wannabe. There are a number of restaurants with outdoor seating, a tired mall (since when are there malls in NYC???), and a number of shops in a pedestrian area finished in cobblestone. The boats are right there, which is really nice, and it looked like maybe the old schooners might be museums open for tours, but I wasn't there long enough to find out.

When I found the TKTS booth, there were about a dozen folks in line ahead of me, and thankfully for the 90+ degree day there was a cloud above to prevent the sun from beating down on us most of the time. The TKTS booth essentially sells tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway shows - what ever is left for tonights show - at a discount. They had a couple of shows I'd have been interested in, including Grease which was Rick's special request. If they had been out of Grease, there was A Chorus Line or Young Frankenstein (complete with new Tony Awards). Shows that are more popular, like Wicked or South Pacific don't appear on the list, though I'm looking forward to seeing those too.

So, for my very warm wait, I got back mezzanine seats for $42 each - less than half price. I had never been to the Brookes Atkinson Theater, but if I go again, I won't buy tickets in the back mezzanine with a knee wall which was designed for children. I think Rick, who is 6' tall, has been traumatized by trying to fit his legs behind the knee wall and size 13 shoes under the seat for the 2 hour show. The petite woman visiting from somewhere in the south complained about the leg room for a full 15 minutes before the show started. We just tried to make the best of it.

I met Rick before the show at Brazil Brazil - I found the restaurant on the web and made reservations via Open Table. I had dressed up wearing a red dress with a little sparkle around the neck and some pretty heels. His expression of pleased surprise when I walked up to him at the table made it worth the effort :)
The restaurant was interesting as we have not really explored mid-town west at all, and this would be considered on Restaurant Row which is filled with restaurants which cater to people going to shows, or looking for a cocktail after. I thought it would be nice to try the Brazilian cuisine. Turns out the Brazilian cuisine is very much like regular American cuisine - we selected from the prix fix menu ($24.95 for 3 courses) and started with the Brazilian Salad - a nice garden salad with a unique vinegrette. It looked like Russian dressing when you looked quickly, and tasted a little like it too, but not thick like Russian dressing. Then we both ended up ordering the Frago Copacabana (sauteed chicken in a mushroom brown sauce) as our entree - it was served with nice mashed potatoes, and shared sides of simple black beans and another side of white rice. The mushroom brown sauce was essentially a simple mushroom gravy, and the sauteed chicken had been dredged in a little flour first, and was really tender. Other than the name, it was American comfort food, and tasty. Desserts were nice small puddings - Rick had the rice pudding, and I had the passionfruit mousse. I didn't care for the rice pudding, and Rick didn't care for the passion fruit, so we didn't share :) The passion fruit was a sweet tart - something I would akin to maybe rhubarb or sour cherries - not the same flavor, but the same kind sweet tart.
After we left, with plenty of time for the show and strolled around the neighborhood a bit. We found 3 other Brazilian restaurants, so American comfort food must be popular :)
We waited in line outside the Theater for a few minutes - apparently Taylor Hicks (who is an American Idol featured in the show) pressed the flesh outside for a while just before we got there. He did a nice job on his part I thought.
The leads for this show were selected on some reality TV show (Your the one that I want or something like that - I didn't watch it). I couldn't help but feel that America is not nearly as good at casting a broadway show as whoever usually does it. The ensemble cast was pretty generic and almost all were making their debut - if you closed your eyes, it would have been difficult to know which actress was singing. The males had a little more character... Taylor was the star, and as the Teen Angel, it's a pretty small part, but the most exciting in this show.
After we unfolded ourselves to leave, we looked around for a place to have a cocktail, though we only looked half heartedly as we were tired - we are not yet on NYC time and still seem to turn into pumpkins at 9:00. When a cab presented itself to us, we gladly climbed in to go home and get comfortable, glad that we had taken part in an integral part of the city.