Newsies here. On Saturday night we went to The Trip to Bountiful at the Stephen Sondheim theatre. It's the first time I've gone to a non-musical, but we had good reason for this choice. You see, it starred Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vanessa Williams. Wouldn't you choose it too? It. Was. AMAZING! I could hardly take my eyes off Miss Tyson. She is one incredible actress. She is just months short of her eightieth birthday, (glad I googled her biography- I've been telling everyone she was older than that - sorry!) and she's doing 8 shows a week on Broadway. She had the majority of the lines in the show and never missed a beat. The show was 2 hours and 20 minutes long and I hardly moved in my seat. To quote my roommate at the end of the show- "You feel like you've really seen something special. Like Oprah says - It was a moment." The entire audience was enthralled with the performance- the standing ovation went on and on and on... Even Whoopi Goldberg, yesterday on The View, was expounding on Tyson's amazing performance. (She won a 2013 Tony "Best Actress" Award for this role.) Tyson plays Carrie Watts, a senior "who has to live with a daughter-in-law who hates her and a son who does not dare take her side. While the unhappy family lives in a Houston apartment, Carrie Watts dreams of returning to
Bountiful, where she was raised. She eventually runs away and embarks by bus to her destination.... " Gooding played his role well too - the son "caught between" his mother and his wife. And what can I say about Vanessa Williams - she is beautiful, and she played the perfect bitch! If you are heading to NYC anytime soon, I would highly recommend this show...
Our final choice was Motown for a Sunday afternoon matinee at the Lunt-Fontanne theatre. Motown is the story of Berry Gordy and his journey from featherweight boxer to the music mogul who launched the careers of so many successful musicians - Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder and many more. With a cast of more than 40 actors and almost 60 of the most loved Motown hits, this show had the entire audience clapping and singing along. The music was fantastic and the actress (Valisia LeKae) who played Diana Ross was most impressive- she had Diana down pat, you would almost swear it was her onstage. She had the audience in the palm of her hand, and even had people up on stage with her singing along... At the end I turned to the gentleman sitting next to me and said "I could sit through that entire show again, right now!" And he relied "So could I."
Again- one NOT to be missed if you are heading to the Big Apple anytime soon. Sigh.... wish I was going back soon to cross a few more off my "Want to See" list... Annie, Cinderella and Pippin would be next...
The Gay Pride parade took place the weekend we were there, so there were lots of "rainbows" flying all over the city.. even the Empire State Building was bathed in a rainbow of color at night. When we saw it Saturday night (nice clear evening) I didn't have my camera with me.. (naturally!) and on Sunday night, fog was moving in - so the top of it is obscured by fog/cloud in this photo, but it's still pretty, don'cha think?
On Sunday, because we were going to a matinee, we only had 4 hours or so to fill so we didn't venture too far. We walked east to Park Avenue to cross a few more buildings off our list. We walked through the Helmsley Building, built in 1929 as the New York Central Building, and designed by the same architects as Grand Central Terminal. Traffic flows right through this building - through two portals - one for uptown traffic and one for downtown. The top of the building is pyramidal, topped with an ornate cupola. The impressive lobby has a definite sense of grandeur with its marble walls and bronze details. The building has changed hands several times, but when it was sold to Helmsley-Spear, Leona Helmsley ("the Queen of Mean") renamed it the Helmsley Building and in the deal it was stipulated that the name would not be changed again. It has changed hands several times since then, being owned by the Royal family of Dubai (sale price $705 million), and now by Goldman Sachs (sale price over a billion!) If you have seen the movie The Godfather, you have seen the interior boardroom...
Just up Park Avenue is the Waldorf Astoria Hotel with its twin towers- home to the rich and famous.... The hotel is a favourite with royalty and presidents alike. There were many photos on display in the lobby of those who have stayed there... We walked in just like we belonged! Bold, eh?
The lobby is quite something - Art Deco, marble columns, with lots of mahogany and bronze... A highlight is the 148,000 piece tile mosaic on the "outer lobby" floor, depicting the drama of human existence, by French artist Louis Rigal.
Well that about wraps up what I have to tell you about our 2013 NYC adventures... We left on Monday morning to head home as the temps were beginning to soar- when it's already over 80F at 5:30 a.m. you know it's time to head out! We weren't on the road long when the rain began.. then our bus broke down just outside Hartford.. Long story short- we were on 3 busses with 4 drivers to get home... We broke down in a good spot (very near a "rest area" with food and washrooms) and Trius Tours were very speedy at making alternate arrangements to get us home. All we lost was a few hours of shopping time in Portland ME. So it could have been much worse- we could have broken down on our way to NYC rather than on our way home... All in all, a great trip with some great ladies.. I feel very fortunate to have been able to go.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh