Thursday, July 23, 2009

Times Squared

When I went to NYC I was very excited to give my regards to Broadway.

The spectacle lures one like a distant oasis. The throngs plod along at a camel's pace.

Finally arriving at the Casbah, one can only stop & gape, snap pictures & ruminate.

So many choices, so little cash!

Let's just sit awhile on the red stairs and contemplate Herald Square.


Since I was a little kid I've been a big fan of musical theatre. In the summer my grandparents would take me to see "Theatre Under the Stars" (fondly known as Tuts) in Vancouver's Stanley Park. The show would get under way at dusk and the mosquitoes would come out as the sun went down. When the night air grew chill, we'd spread plaid blankets over our knees without missing a beat of the music or a line of dialogue. It was magic time! There were usually two Broadway musicals presented each summer and we'd always see at least one of them. I had no trouble staying awake after my bedtime, right up until we drove past the illuminated dancing fountain at the park's entrance--the perfect ending to an enchanted evening (and, yes, I did see South Pacific there).

When West Side Story came out as a movie I was absolutely gaga over it. I had the program, the album, I knew all the songs by heart, I could do a mean version of the dance routines in my living room when no one was around. I couldn't make up my mind whether I wanted to marry the leader of the Sharks or the Jets when I grew up. When I was a teenager, Tuts put on West Side Story and I auditioned for it. I was a very good dancer, but a bit too chubby and a little too young so I didn't make the cut.

But I did finally get to New York City and I did see a Broadway show, albeit Ionesco, starring Susan Sarandon, Geoffrey Rush, Andrea Martin and...the girl from 6 Feet Under... in "Exit the King." It was every bit as thrilling and exciting as anticipated. Although a revival of West Side Story was playing, I opted not to see it. A case of having "been there, done that, and bought everything but the T-shirt."

In case you were wondering, I never married George Chakiris or Russ Tamblyn.

I was here!


  1. The Barrymore! It's exciting just looking at the facade and down Broadway, and hearing Susan Sarandon, Geoffrey Rush (remember him in a film years ago, "Shine?") and the young-girl-all-grown-up from "Six Feet Under!" you live in the Maritimes, and your grandparents in Vancouver? That's a long way! Did they ever take you to the outdoor Elizabethan (Shakespeare) Theatre in Ashland, Oregon? We used to drive up from Northern California to see a play there, and now I live in New Jersey across the Hudson from New York! It's so beautiful to see outdoor theater! As for Broadway plays, Cats was one of my favorites, and now I guess it's Wizard. But I'll never get tired of goig into the City and taking in a show!

  2. Hi Margaret: Lucky you, being able to "ferry 'cross from Jersey" (remember that old Jerry and the Pacemakers song...) to catch a play now and then. I loved Cats, too. I had hoped to see Wizard when we were in NY but didn't make it. Another reason to go back!

    I've lived in eastern Canada for most of my adult life while my family was all in Vancouver. I'd only get "home" every couple of years so it's been very hard emotionally. We raised our daughter here so she feels like a Maritimer, though she lives in Montreal now.

    We didn't go to Ashland for the Shakespeare festival but we must have driven through on our yearly visit to my other grandparents in Clovis Ca. (near Sacramento).

    Wasn't Geoffrey Rush amazing in Shine?!! I think he's pretty much great in anything he does. He was really hamming it up in Exit. Brilliant!

    Lovely to see you here, Margaret!

  3. Will I be banished from your blog if I admit I've never seen a Broadway show ? I did see the Grateful Dead play at Madison Square Garden though... :-D

  4. Welllllll, you have been living in France for the past--what? 15 years?--so I guess I could cut you some slack for not having experienced a Broadway show. And after all your shenanigans in my comment boxes, if you are still not banished, I think your monkey-toed footprints are as safe here as those in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

  5. And, Owen--don't forget that Switters' (biggest) guilty pleasure in "Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates" was the CD of Broadway show tunes that he had hidden away in the secret compartment of his briefcase!

  6. How could anyone forget Switters ?!? Although, it seems to me he had another guilty pleasure or two that were worse than a hidden CD of show music... no ?

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  8. He did, indeed, but this is a PG comment box! (sometimes)... Anyway, it was his penchant for show tunes that he was most embarrassed about.

    ("Hmmm, pointing this out is perhaps not the best way to win the Toad over to Broadway's charms," Madlynne frets to herself.)

  9. Hi Lynne
    I am just dropping in with a note to say I have found your other blogs - how prolific are you...I just love the old pics on fabric collages. I tried the same effect on multiple papers but haven't progressed to the fabrics yet. I am no artist but I love to play. I say, "I can't draw but I can cut and glue" You are going to be a great inspiration. I am going to return after breakfast and spend a lovely morning rummaging through all of your many and interesting and varied posts.

    Thank you

    Happy days

  10. Great to have you on board, Delwyn! You can have a whole lot of fun, cutting and gluing. Personally, I'm getting fed up with stitching and want to start throwing some paints around again.

  11. p.s. Louciao~ I just posted my first Song Saturday video and dedicated it to you! Have a good weekend, Margaret xxox

  12. Ah Broadway! It was snowing when I went to a show, many years ago now but it was called Catskills on Broadway and it was hilarious. I loved it; the theatre was beautiful but I can't remember the name of it. Afterwards we went to Roxy's for a meal - I had the biggest Patrami on Rye that I hhave ever had in my entire life!

  13. Saj! You're back! Giving your regards to Broadway. Mmmmmm, pastrami on rye. They have a decent version in Montreal but I didn't get to sample any in NYC. Not even a bagel. Sigh. Maybe when your kids are grown we can meet up there as old babes and gum some sandwiches together.

  14. Only if we can wash it all down with vast amounts of...cider? Champers? Oh heck, the lot!

  15. Pastrami goes well with beer...except for the bloat.