Reason #4562104 I love living in New York City: a random Wednesday evening with nothing on the agenda but a haircut can turn into an evening seeing a Broadway show in an instant. I mean, where else does stuff like that just happen?
On Wednesday, I got a text from one of my new favorite people (and coworker), Quincy, that he had a ticket to see End of the Rainbow – the play about Judy Garland’s last performances at Talk of the Town in London. Faster than you can say “Scott, do you mind making your own dinner tonight?” I was in. Scott didn’t mind, because it meant he wouldn’t have to see it with me, lucky boy.
I ran to the theater after my hair cut and made it with 15 minutes to spare. Just enough time for another New York City classic – a dirty water dog. Street vendor hot dog before an evening of theater, anyone?
Class. Pure class.
Me and Q sneaking a forbidden shot of our Judy Garland loving selves in front of the stage. Nerd alert! The head usher was not pleased.
The set was beautiful. You can’t see it here, but Judy’s luggage was in the first act. It was so diva-licious and I want it when I’m old (and a diva).
Oh and the show? It was phenomenal. It’s so different from the Broadway blockbusters I’m used to, such as Wicked and Lion King. This had no more than 4-5 actors (not including the orchestra, of course). And even so, the musical numbers were still amazing and over the top thanks to Tracie Bennett.
She gives everything on the stage to become Ms. Garland. And it works. She was never stilted, never showed if she was tired and never dropped out of character for an instant. She literally never stops throughout the whole show. She’s constantly moving, singing, jumping on pianos…and that doesn’t include her actual performances at Talk of the Town. I almost died when she sang The Trolley Song from Meet Me in St. Louis.
The show ends with a heartbreaking rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It made me tear up. After the cast had received a several minute long, much-deserved standing ovation, we got an encore! Every person in that theater sat right back down and Judy sang us one more song. Color us happy.
After the play we headed to a local bar for a bite and some drinks. And by bite, I mean tater tots with cheese, bacon and jalapenos baked in. Quincy and I each had to get our own serving. Sharing wasn’t an option.
It was a delicious end to a lovely evening. Can’t wait til my next Broadway adventure!