Monday, December 24, 2012

Movies, musicals and opera

The last couple of weeks have seen a shift at work and my social life. Up until the 14th, work has been crazy, getting ready for the closing of a merger with another company. On the 11th, Kacey invited me and Chelsea to join Becker for a read-through of McGoldrick's Thread, a play her boss is trying to get produced.

A run-through is like a movie preview for stage plays. They read some of the scenes, and do some of the musical highlights, and in this case, perform some of the Irish stepdance numbers in the show. The troupe includes some really world-class dancers of all ages, many from a school in Long Island. Because we were seated on standby, we got put in the front row, center, so close that our knees practically extended over the edge of the stage. Chelsea said she feared for her knees when some of the dancers performed their kicks!

The next night I was supposed to screen A Beautiful Mind for my Times Square Movie Club, but Natalie (who was the only person signed up to come) couldn't make it. Instead, Kacey and Becker came over late and we watched The Cider House Rules, which is one of the movies on our Literary Movie marathon list.

Last Thursday night I texted Natalie to see if she wanted to catch up on Elementary, but she had tickets to see Bare the Musical on Broadway and asked if I wanted to come with her to that. I was on call to post a news release, but I still managed to see the first few numbers before I had to go out to the lobby and work on that. I finished up the work and saw the second half of the play with her. The music was really good, but I thought the story was pretty derivative of works like Rent.

Friday night we closed the merger and I pretty much crashed all weekend, recovering from an intense week of work, only leaving the apartment for yoga on Sunday. On Wednesday, my friend Liz (whom I met back in April - "Lively performances" - April 22, 2012" - but haven't seen her since, although we converse on Facebook) invited me to see a play called P.S. Jones and the Frozen City. I met Liz watching The Foreplay Play, and P.S. Jones included one of its stars, Diana Oh.

Thursday night was my first big, successful TSMC event, the holiday screening of Love Actually. Puck came back from school, and we hosted Marton and Anna (from Open Love NY), Elisa (from House JAPaN), Natalie and Chelsea, so seven people altogether. As many times as I've seen this movie (it's one of my favorites) it was so much fun watching it with a crowd that included people who haven't see it before. There was a lot of laughter and snarky remarks, and a fun time was had by all. Afterward, Marton and Anna left (since they had a long drive home to Princeton) and the rest of us chatted until past midnight. Natalie even favored us with a few tunes and carols on my violin, Midori.

I love having friends from different parts of my life and different communities come together. I think the cross-pollination is more interesting than hanging with the same crowd again and again. But most of all, I think all of my friends are such wonderful people that getting them together is a fun time for everyone, especially me. A big part of my starting the TSMC was a decision to focus more of my attention on the core group of 37 of my closest local friends, or those people I want to get to know better, even while I'm on my current hiatus from dating.

One of those persons is Liz, whom I saw for a second time in three days when she invited me to a midnight screening of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with a group of her friends. We were supposed to meet up at a bar, but I accidentally left my wallet (and my ID) at the office so we relocated to a diner across Houston Street. Liz and I were there early so we sat together for about an hour until other people started showing up.

Chris is a young gay guy who works in theater lighting, Josh is Liz's boyfriend who bartends at The Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys on Broadway, and we met up with a gay couple, Chris and Zack, who are both in theater and are getting married in a couple weeks on a cruise ship out of Miami. They are also two of the most gorgeous men I've met in a while. So it was a lot of fun meeting all these cool new people and spending time with the charming and vivacious Liz, who, like Kacey, is a theater stage manager.

Saturday Puck and I had our annual pilgrimage to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center to see Aida. It was one of the most impressive, lavish and complex set designs I've seen yet, including live horses and scores of extras in the cast. We had orchestra seats, so a different (and probably better) view than we've had in the past when we've sat in the boxes above.

Puck went with their family to visit Ella and Sasha in Vermont today, and I'll head up there for New Year's next weekend for the long holiday. So this weekend I get a couple days to chill out and shop for presents before heading back to work on Wednesday. It's the first time I can remember being alone on Christmas. The idea doesn't bother me as much as it used to - I welcome the quiet and the solitude before my next TSMC event on the 28th.