Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Every time I walk into Lincoln Center and see the arches of the Metropolitan Opera House I want to jump around and giggle. Like this. Just the sight of the fountain and those arches fills my stomach with happy butterfly flips.

So even though I wasn’t attending an opera Monday evening, I still got those tummy flips as I entered Lincoln Center to attend a performance of Nathan Gunn and Kelli O’Hara with the NY Philharmonic. The theme: Classic Broadway.

But of course let’s back up a moment. For when does a blog entry of mine ever start with a review of the performance? No no no. We must discuss the entire adventure.

The adventure began the day before the performance. I trekked into NYC to meet Ann for our annual Gunn performance outing. We hopped in a cab downtown to a FABULOUS Greek restaurant called Snack. It was TINY. We got the last available table (there are 5 total) and feasted on grape leaves, skordalia, white anchovies and other goodies:

Then we walked around the village a little (that’s Greenwich Village, for all you out-of-towners) and wandered into the few boutiques that were still open at 8:30 on a Sunday night. I got a FABULOUS selection of rhinestony items, including this: for a Grant Total of $10.

Breakfast in the hotel was on the 33rd (I think) floor, which boasted a lovely view of buses exiting the Lincoln Tunnel:

The next day we wandered around NYC, did some shopping, I found a FABULOUS bargain on a FABULOUS raincoat that actually fits because it’s petite length!

We eventually made our way to Lincoln Center where I got those happy tummy flips as described above. I exchanged my extra Comte Ory tickets for a performance of Rigoletto in May. Had to upgrade to the orchestra. Confirmed frantically via text and telephone that the babysitter was available while I stood there at the box office window. I figure Husband will like Rigoletto - I’m toting it as “Verdi’s Greatest Hits.”

We trotted across the street to Cafe Fiorello where we feasted on the King’s Antipasto:

And finally we made our way to our seats in Row R of Avery Fisher Hall for the performance.

View from my seat:

And then... I got scolded by the usher for taking a photo. Oops. Phone off and into purse.

Confession: I always get a little nervous before a Gunn performance. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s because there’s been so much drama associated with past performances, both happy and ... not so pleasant... Or perhaps it's simply because I'm excited to be there? Either way, that anxiety quickly passed, and I’m happy to report that none of his entourage crossed my path. The usher scolding was as dramatic as it got. Whew.

Another confession: I’m not really that “into” Broadway tunes. I am, however, “into” hearing beautifully performed music. The concert itself was delightful! The NY Phil is an amazing amazing orchestra. What a treat to hear them play! And the singing... WOW!!! I believe this is the BEST I’ve ever heard Nathan sing, and I’ve seen him perform several times. I don’t know if it’s because he was wearing a microphone, or because it was not opera, or just that he was in top form, or what. His voice was AMAZING. Wait, what’s the word of the blog post? FABULOUS. He was fabulous. Kelli O’Hara has an absolutely beautiful voice too. Clear as a bell. And I took advantage of our proximity to the stage to pay particular attention to her technique - how she pronounced certain consonants and how wide open her mouth was. All thing my voice teacher has been telling me - to not over-pronounce, to open open open wide, to stand still. I realized that I understood the words even though she did not over-pronounce, and in fact, sometimes barely touched or even skipped the consonants completely. In between songs the conductor explained the history and context of the pieces, which was really really nice. He was very personable. It felt like a private conversation rather than a presentation to an audience. We left the theater smiling and feeling good. And not that anyone else’s opinion matters to me, I do want to point out that the NY Times reviewer felt the same way. Plus that's the article to read if you want all the musical details. My favorite line from the review (of course):

Mr. Gunn injected a note of lubricious sleaze into “Wouldn’t You Like to Be on Broadway” from “Street Scene.”

Afterwards, we changed out of our finery and walked around Times Square where we ran into Spiderman! Look! He complimented my hat... then he tried to steal my purse!! Hahaha!!

Next adventure: Comte Ory at the Met!!


Raisa said...

Lovely update, Susan. I get the same feeling every time I approach the Met, even on Sunday, when it's closed. It's a temple.
I am going to see Le Comte on April 9th.
Cute pic with the spiderman.

Banawoman said...

Awesome review! It was kind of you to leave out the part where I dumped a full glass of water in your lap at Cafe Fiorello. Sorry!

Susan said...

Ok readers so dinner the night before the show... tiny tiny tables... and the table tops were not flat - they had some sort of cushioning on them. The water glasses were tall and thin. It was all very tippy. The combination of tiny table space and tippy glasses meant that it was impossible to eat, drink or move without causing some sort of spill. The very first spill belonged to Banawoman - that glass of ice cold water spilled right into my lap!! BRRR! I actually jumped up and said, kinda loudly, "You did NOT just do that!" which of course brought all the waiters running. They fixed it all up in mere seconds, transplanting us to the adjacent table without a hitch. Then the rest of the evening we averted near-disasters by catching the glasses as they began to go over. It added a nice touch of excitement to the evening.

Banawoman said...

. . . which is also why you won't see any red wine on the table. We need our wits about us. Of course, an hour later, we were completely out of our wits.