‘Our Town’ rocked my face off.
This past Sunday, Cole and I had a day at the theater…. I hadn’t done such a thing in a long time and it was a really lovely New York kind of day. We saw both ‘Our Town’ and ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ (the NEW cast with Rhea Pearlman AND Rita Wilson.)
When I used to visit New York as Playbill collecting high school student I’d somehow manage to see ten shows in a week or something ridiculous like that. I’d take the Amtrak (Crescent Line) up from Atlanta because I afraid to fly at the time. It was an eighteen hour train ride one way. We’d leave out of Atlanta around six or seven PM and arrive into Penn Station after lunch the following day. My parents would allow me to come stay with my friend Corinne in Washington Heights, so these trips always felt very independent and grown up.
I’d save up for six or seven months then take all my money and spend every cent on seeing every possible show. It was all very “saving up my nickels to spend my afternoons seeing the motion pictures” (I assume a lot of old people have said that). When I was sixteen, I had to lie to get out of work at the local Barnes and Noble Cafe in order to come up here for the whole week to see a plethora of new musicals before the Tony Awards. My lie was that I was coming up to audition for a super important, high dollar scholarship that was being given to ONE young performer to go towards tuition at any arts school of his choice. My cafe manager, Peg, believed me and I had a great week in New York seeing shows. When I got back, for months after, my co-workers asked me everyday if I’d heard from the audition…. I kept it going for a while, “Still not yet….” “Nope, keep your fingers crossed though….” finally after two or three months I announced I didn’t get the scholarship and for a month afterward people took me out to dinner to console me.
Since moving to New York, I see far fewer shows than ten in a week. All the obvious reasons apply: money, time, motivation, sobriety…. but the double header Cole and I had on Sunday was pretty perfect, made so by the awesomeness that is the current production of ‘Our Town’. I had never seen the play, read the play, I knew just a little bit about it, I had performed a scene from it in an acting class when I was like eleven…. so I went in pretty unknowing.
It was truly one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen….. the play is perfect, this production is perfect, the cast, the direction, the everything. I cannot recommend a show more. I have no idea how much longer its running but if you’re in New York, coming to New York, want a reason to be in New York GO SEE IT. It moved me in such an intense way. So good.
It’s so easy to forget that you live in the city you used to save up money for six or seven months just to visit. Its hard to take it all in 24/7. Sometimes when you’re walking down the picturesque streets you really just need to get to the grocery store and back…. you don’t need a New York moment right now, thank you very much…. but seeing a play like I saw on Sunday makes me check in and go…. Oh right, THATS why I live here. If you’re in sitting in Rome, Georgia, saving up your nickels to come here and have a theater binge, make sure you hit up ‘Our Town’. It’d be worth the eighteen hour Amtrak ride, I guarantee it.