There was something about looking out the window to this view for five days…
New York City and me, we were on a break for a few years. It had been so long (nearly seven years) that I began to think we’d never kiss and make-up. We did. Thanks to my best friend and the best Christmas gift I’ve ever been given in my life. My Person has always been big on giving me the people I love most for holidays and birthdays and sometimes for no reason at all. This reunion with the City that I love was filled with so many souls I hold close – I think I am more in love with New York now than I ever was before.
Those people above are just a handful of people who came to spend some time with me. (And a couple TONY winners who don’t suck at their jobs or as human beings.) I didn’t get photos with everyone, but that’s the thing, being in NYC is all about time. Time. The thing that is most important to me when I’m with ANYONE is to be present. Nothing bothers me more than when I am with someone and they don’t look up from some technical device. I left my computer in LA. In five days away, I only looked at my phone when someone was supposed to meet up with me. When I’m with you, I want to be WITH you. I want your time and I VALUE your time. Everyone seems to just get that there. It fills me up beyond anything just to see the people I love smile and laugh and cry happy tears when we are together. Shouldn’t that be most important every day? I try to live my life that way, anyway.
We went to see some shows, because theatre is how I connect spiritually. When I see the beauty of art coming alive before my eyes and transporting me to another place, it just instills in what I’ve always known… there is something bigger than all of us out there guiding us to make the world a better place. This trip? All of the shows brought a kind of joy in some form or another. (Yes, even the lynching, in a way I wasn’t expecting.)
Honeymoon in Vegas is the first Jason Robert Brown show I’ve seen on Broadway. This show is so much fun and so funny, Also, if you get lucky, you’ll get lei’d! That’s right, this show comes with props. It was a most excellent way to spend an afternoon at the theatre. Any show with a tap dancing Tony Danza is a good time in my book.
We then saw Jessie Mueller in her TONY winning turn in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. This woman deserved that TONY. This show was just that… beautiful. It reminded me of every last reason why I love theatre so much. It made me emotional. I cried through a good portion of it. I feel so grateful that I got the opportunity to see it. And then I met Jessie and she was just a down-to-earth, humble, spectacular human being.
Next up was the revival of On The 20th Century with my Kristin. Where do I even begin with this show? I am that person whose favorite shows are the old school classic shows and anything that has that sort of feel to it. On The 20th Century was right up my alley. I LOVED every last second of this show, and not just because my girl was fabulous in it. When the promos and reviews are all calling it “a madcap musical comedy” that is no joke. I snort-laughed at this show. I laughed until I cried at this show. I laughed so hard my side hurt and had to shift in my chair. …And that was just by intermission. That ensemble is INSANE. Peter Gallagher can sing me all of the things all the time now. Andy Karl and Kristin are the perfect pair. I’m so proud of my sweet friend. She’s working so hard and she was born to play this role. I am so grateful I got to see her play one of her dream roles. I am grateful that I got to shower her with the love she so deserves afterwards as well.
Ah, the final show on the itinerary… the Parade concert at Lincoln Center. Parade was the first Jason Robert Brown show I ever saw on stage. I saw the production in Los Angeles a few years ago with T.R. Knight in the role of Leo Frank. That production was fantastic, but this? This production of Parade was absolutely the most amazing thing I’ve seen on stage in my entire life. I am completely serious. A full orchestra, a 200+ person choir, JRB conducting, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti and the most incredible ensemble and musicians… It’s been a little over a month and I am still at a loss as to how to describe how it made me feel. I’ve never left so inspired by a piece of art. I do know that I walked out reaffirming that experiences like that are the reason I come to New York, Something so stunning couldn’t have happened on that scale anywhere else. Unbelievable.
It also has to be said that The Last Five Years movie was perfect. Every frame. Every moment. Every note. Perfect. (Though selfishly I did miss the original “I hate these fucking shoes” line.) Thank you to everyone involved with bringing something loved by so many to a different medium so we could keep it forever. It’s incredible.
So, that was basically my adventure. There were people. There was theatre. There was food. There was A LOT of laughter and A LOT of hugging. All of it together revived my soul, as New York always does. But this time it was like it took extra care, to make up for such a long absence. That absence will never happen again. Ever. I need it way too much to ever stay away.
Thank you to all of you who gave me YOUR time. I value your time and treasure you. Every last one of you. I love you. And Janice, My Person, I don’t even have words for you. Thank you for being the one who gets me. Thank you for knowing what I need and just wanting me to feel all of the joy and love all the time. No amount of saying “thank you” will ever express the gratitude I feel for all you do for me in life and in our friendship. I love you.