Monday, March 31, 2014

Musically Mathilda

Since seeing Book of Mormon with Piper and Katie B, I've been trying to win the lottery for Mathilda instead. I had tried it once with Kristina and once with Katie M on successive weekends, but to no avail. Last Wednesday since I was working from home, I thought I'd try it again.

As I usually do, I texted people whom I think might be available to join me if I should win. Eventually Liz accepted, but I wasn't able to win. However, they were offering $42 seats as consolation prizes, so I snatched up two of them about three rows back from the stage on the far right. The seats were within arm's length of each other on different rows, but once the lady seated next to Liz realized we were together, she kindly offered to switch seats with me so we could sit together.

The play was wonderful and I loved the music. It was a near-perfect combination of a simple musical theme with a complex staging and a well-layered story that appeals to all ages. Puck introduced me to Tim Minchin a long time ago, so I had a feel for his style already. It has some really catchy hooks that I haven't heard in a new musical since Once. It was difficult to make out some of the lyrics live because of the child voices and heavy accents, but I got the CD and I've been enjoying it even more being able to make out the words. The thing that it does that very few musicals can do is it weaves a spell over the audience and fully immerses them into this make-believe world where you immediately get the characters and understand the world they live in. It was immensely satisfying in almost every way, and I can't wait to see it again.

Best of all, one of Liz's friends - also named Michelle - met us at the stage door and gave us a backstage tour of the show. She works as a part-time child wrangler for the show. So it was a very memorable Broadway visit!

Saturday was Liz's 29th birthday party, although her actual birthday isn't until this Wednesday. She was having a brunch party at Jacob's Pickles on the UWS, but I wasn't able to go to that because I was out late on Friday playing poker with my co-workers and didn't get home until after 2 am. At least I didn't lose any money (I won $2.50) but I certainly wasn't going to be able to get up early the next day.

So I volunteered to go down to the biergarten at The Standard hotel in the Meatpacking District to try and hold a table for the group post-brunch. I made a little table sign with Liz's name on it, but when I got there just after 2 pm, it was so crowded that I despaired of finding a free table. After circling for a few minutes, I swooped down on a half a table and set up my sign. About 15 minutes later Liz, Josh, Lytle, Andrea and her mother arrived, and I met Elisabeth, a ballet dancer and another of Liz's friends. I couldn't believe how crowded it was, considering how awful the weather was outside. But we all had a good time, although the noise was a bit oppressive after a while.

Sunday night I hosted a different kind of event at TSMC - I made a pot roast with carrots, onions, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts in my slow cooker during the day and put out the call if anyone wanted to come by and have dinner with me. Piper, Liz and Josh came by - Liz brought bread and Piper brought some desserts (homemade fudge and lemon cake eggs). So we all sat and had a cozy Sunday night dinner together and talked about movies, dating and theater and laughed a lot. Something about the night made me think of the old folk tale I read growing up called "Stone Soup." It was a very nice intentional family moment for me, and something I'd consider making a regular thing.