Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: "Once"

...the one in which we are blown away....

Gah - SUCH a hot day in NYC. It's one of those days that are just miserable...especially when you take the heat and humidity, and add in the dirt and pollution from the city. Daughter was pretty much passed out in the subway, and thankfully, we only had a short distance between the subway station and our hotel. You might ask, "But...Drama Queen...if Daughter was sick, why didn't you spring for a taxi to take you from Harlem to your hotel in Manhattan?"

Good question. And here's why: because cabs are scarce in Harlem. In fact, the majority of the cabs in the other neighborhoods of Manhattan very seldom - if ever - visit Harlem. We would have been waiting a long, long time if we'd attempted to hail a cab in Harlem to take us back to midtown Manhattan. So - we went back the way we came - via subway. With a sick child. Oh, the joys of parenthood.

Once we got her back to the hotel, she was immediately put to bed for awhile...with cool towels, Pepto Bismol, cold drinking water, and her favorite tunes in her iPod. Within minutes, she was sound asleep. It was actually rather we all took the time to lie down and just chill - literally.

The Plan had us going to Junior's Restaurant for dinner around 5:30 pm, before our Broadway show at 7:00 pm. We decided to punt this, for two reasons:

1. We were all still stuffed from our soul food adventure in Harlem....

2. Junior's is famous for their cheesecake - which was the whole reason we were going...but with an upset stomach, the LAST thing Daughter needed was cheesecake.

So...the plan changed, and we were good with that. After a nap, we woke up around 6:00 pm, and we were all feeling pretty good. Refreshed. Recharged. Ready to go. Daughter said she felt 100x better than she had earlier, so with her assurances that she was fine, we headed over to the theater neighborhood of Manhattan:

The theater neighborhood is located in Times well as some of the Midtown West neighborhood....

Our destination was the historic Bernard B Jacobs Theater, located at 242 West 45th Street. This was a very short subway ride away, and within minutes, we were outside the doors, waiting to see the 2012 Tony Award-winning show for Best Musical, "Once."

The theater was built in the 1920's, and has hosted some amazing talent, including Mae West, Gypsy Rose Lee, Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, and Morgan Freeman. Julia Roberts made her Broadway debut here in 2006 in "Three Days of Rain." Being an older theater, it's on the smaller side - which is perfect for the intimate show that we're going to see.

As I said before, "Once" won the Best Musical Tony award in 2012. It actually won a total of EIGHT Tony Awards that year, and then went to win a 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

I had been fortunate enough to see "Once" when I was previously in New York, back in February. It had blown me away. It was all I could talk about - but being that no one else, outside of the immediate Broadway circle, has HEARD of this show - my talking fell on deaf ears. I HAD to get Hubby and Daughter to see this show...but would they like it? Or would they think it was a dud?

The doors opened at 6:30 pm, and we strolled into the theater and made our way up to our seats. Because I had bought our tickets far in advance, I had been able to snag some pretty good seats - they were located in the first row of the balcony. In dead center. We had an unobstructed view of the stage below us, and could take everything in.

Pre-show, you're allowed to venture up on the stage and purchase a drink from the "bar" that is set up and where the opening scene takes place. We were content with watching the guests venture up, and soon, the musicians came out to begin playing some upbeat Irish music on stage.

The lights soon dimmed...the guests were ushered offstage...the musicians kept playing...and the show began.

What can I say about "Once"? It's a love has has some's intimate...and it has some of THE most amazing music and songs I've heard in a long time. It's NOT your typical "big Broadway production" with chorus girls, big bands, and big dance numbers. It's intimate. It's personal. It's heartbreaking.

When the show was over, I looked over at Daughter, who was wiping tears from her face....

I looked at Hubby to get his reaction.

"Well...what did you think?" I asked, a bit hesitantly. I knew that I had loved it...but Hubby...?

"That...was amazing. Probably the best show I've ever seen," he said. He was pretty much stunned.

EEP! He loved it!!!!

We ALL loved it. My fears were for naught, as they fell under the spell of "Once" as I had.

We left the theater, where we briefly stopped on Shubert Alley so that Daughter could do her best "Once" impression (she's playing an air guitar, if you can't figure it out!) before we moved on....

So...thumbs up for this show. Run - don't walk - and be sure to see this when you get an opportunity.

Take a Kleenex.


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