Monday, January 12, 2015

"Pippin" Strikes The Circus Tent and Heads For Another Corner of The Sky - Some Recent NYC Theater Experiences

Anyone who has spent any amount of reading The White Rhino Report is aware of my love affair with the re-imagined production of "Pippin" that was birthed at the A.R.T. and has called the Music Box its Broadway home for the past two years.  When I learned that the show would be closing on January 4, I built my travel schedule to NYC around being there for that date.  Having been present at the birth and having watched the show and its cast grow and change, I felt I needed to be there to say good-bye.  So, along with my good friend Luka, we braved the cold and rain and winds to stand in line for close to 6 hours to score a rare Rush ticket for the final performance.  It was well worth it. The time flew by, for those standing in line formed an instant community of theater lovers.  That community included the Brand family from Vermont, with whom Luka and I shared many threads of conversation.,

As I had expected might be the case, Director and Tony award winner Diane Paulus was there, along with Composer Stephen Schwartz, original Lead Player, Tony award winner Patina Miller, Erik Altemus, the original Lewis, Andrew Cekala, the original Theo, and original cast members Molly Tynes, Anthony Wayne, et al.

During Intermission, it was great to catch up with the Cekala family, Erik Altemus and Mr. Schwartz, with whom I discussed the current status of his tennis game!  He is a serious player.

While Pippin has packed up its Broadway operation, the National tour continues to wend its way across the U.S.  See below for dates and locations.

Pippin Tour Dates and Venues

While in NYC, I was able to take in the opening of Soho Rep's current play, "Winners and Losers."

White Rhino Report Review of "Winners and Losers"

I also took advantage of the hellacious weather holding down numbers of potential audience members to score Rush tickets for the Pulitzer Prize winning drama "Disgraced."  The play is controversial, but well worth seeing.

Finally, the weather also helped me in winning a Lottery Rush ticket for "Kinky Boots."  My front row seat allowed me to fully experience the magic and artistry of Billy Porter and company. What a fun and upbeat show, richly deserving of all of its Tony accolades. It was nice to catch up with Jeanna De Waal, who plays Lauren, and who played the role of Mary Barrie in the recent A.R.T. production of "Finding Neverland" (Opening on Broadway for previews on March 15, Opening April 15)

My days in the City included a few visits to the Famiglia Pizza site on 8th Avenue above 43rd Street.  Wearing my Red Sox cap when I visit there always evokes comments from the Albanian-American staff who are rabid Yankees fans.  I remain a loyal Red Sox fan who hates the Yankees, but loves New York City!



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