I love ballroom dance. Twyla Tharp is amazing. And Frank Sinatra is very cool too. Yet, the three of them together?????????
We were not disappointed in our dinner at Carmines the night before we went to our last show. We should have listened to James though, our effeminate waiter with an attitude. James was rather aloof until we started talking with him about theater. We had just seen MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, enjoyed it and over a garlicky, pasta con vongole began planning what production we should see next.
On a hunch, I thought James just might be the guy to give us the inside scoop and sure enough, we find out he never misses an On Broadway or Off for that matter, show. In between bites, our conversation was peppered with plays we loved, those we weren’t too impressed with and those we haven’t yet seen.
Our next choice for our New York stay was to see COME FLY AWAY, but James emphatically suggested that we skip it. With a flick of the wrist, he said, “don’t be bothered”. Since we seemed to have similar taste, his advice was very much appreciated, until, he suggested we see AVENUE Q, the Muppet play. Oops, all credibility instantly evaporated, even as he enthusiastically tried to pitch the artistry and humor of this show not unlike a Broadway critic. Upon leaving the restaurant, we decided to wait and see which productions would be available at the half price window.
My husband is not your average jock. He speaks Italian fluently, is well read, invests wisely, possesses an uncultivated musical aptitude and is an adept conversationalist. Dance wise, he’s better than the average joe (translation, I don’t have to lead when we dance together). He also appreciates a good show. So, when the half price tickets for COME FLY AWAY came available the next day at the ticket booth, we bought them.
Not 3 minutes into the show, my husband was wriggling like a first time, bridled colt. He kept looking at me with a pathetic frown, appalled that we just spent our money and last night in New York to watch what was essentially a ballroom dance production with not a word spoken from the cast. What was Twyla thinking? I had a sinking feeling this was not going to be enjoyed by all.
Throughout the first “act” on and on he went, voice just a tad too loud, “this reeks, this is NOT what I paid for, or give me a break”. My daughter was amused by his antics not bothered in the least. Sinking lower and lower in my seat, I was not amused, but put up with his venting, shushing him only when it seemed to disturb our seatmates. I kept reminding him every time he wanted to boo instead of clap that we were not at a ballgame.
At intermission, he stormed out with daughter in tow to see if they could “sneak” into the play across the street, THE ADAMS FAMILY. Again I reminded him we were not at a ballgame. I was secretly hoping he could get in though as I was embarrassed of his gesticulations, mutterings and cursings. He came back at the end of intermission. ADAMS FAMILY SOLD OUT until September. Shoot! That explains why it was not available at the half price window downtown.
Second “act” begins. The eternal optimist, I was hopeful for a stronger finish. By the end of the first number I had to acknowledge that my husband really did have a point. The dancers were very skilled; the orchestra was fantastic, who doesn’t love Frank’s crooning. But the choreography, it was like watching the same dance over and over and over again. For two hours! Very disappointing.
At the end, some people actually stood up to applaud, reminding us of the varied audience and what some people hate, others love. For us however, we should have listened to James. Next time, Muppets!