Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wednesday: When It Rains

The forecast for the week had predicted rain, however it didn’t appear that it was going to happen until Thursday. Like I said about Tuesday night it started to sprinkle and I had bought a new umbrella. Well Wednesday I don’t get up early, at all (since I was up late blogging about Harry). By the time I rolled out of the apartment it was around noon. I checked my weather app on my phone, which said it was sunny. I make my way down the stairs and get outside and it is NOT sunny.

I had left the umbrella upstairs, so I trudged back up the two flights of stairs and grab the umbrella. Back down I go. I head towards York to get on the M72, though I haven’t a clue where I had decided to go (probably back to Gray’s Papaya and more wandering around the Upper West Side). This is when I realized that it was really raining. And it was cold. And site seeing was not going to be fun in these conditions.

What’s a girl to do?

That’s right, go see Spiderman again! I figured the matinee started at 2:00 or 2:30, so being that it was around noon I had plenty of time. So I headed back upstairs and got on the computer to order tickets. I had two real options: one price, which was totally in my budget, would put me on the highest level (where we were before) in the back. OR I could spend $20 more and be in the Orchestra, eight rows back.

Best twenty dollars I have spent. (More on that soon).

The first thing I noticed was that the show was at 1:30. At this point it is around 12:00-12:15, so I knew I had to book it to get to Times Square. Luckily the shuttle from Grand Central happens to pop you out right on 42nd street, less than a block from the Foxwoods Theater.

Now you might be wondering why I wouldn’t want to go see another show, since I saw Spiderman the last time I was in NYC, less than eleven months ago. Well there was some drama and the show was completely changed, as was the director. I wanted to see the changes.

My initial two shows that I wanted to see on this trip were Book of Mormon and Spiderman, though Harry trumped Mormon because I figure it will tour, Harry won’t. Spiderman was necessary though, since that show will never tour.

The one thing I was sacrificing by going to the matinee was that Reeve Carney would not be playing Peter Parker. I accepted that it would be good to see it from another angle and decided it was worth it. And I was right.

There were a lot of technical elements that were different as well as a lot of story changes. In the previews the show opens with Mary Jane dangling from a “building” and Spiderman saving her from the Green Goblin. This time around it started with Peter doing a report at school on spiders. Another element that was removed from the story were the four teen narrators. I think that was a good plan. I was excited that they left the aerial weaving sequence with Aracne. It is visually stunning. There are six female actors hanging from yellow material ribbons. The swing forward and backward as other ribbons move upward (horizontally). This tells the story of Aracne.

Another element missing this time around was the members of Carney being on stage right through the show. That really disappointed me. I thought it was very different from anything I had seen before and I liked it.

There is a song called “Bullying by Numbers” and in the preview they had conversation bubbles with words like “whack” and “pow” that people would pop up behind the action. This was cut as well. I liked that because it gave a very comic book element to the show. If you never knew they were there you wouldn’t really miss them though, as they did something like that on the screens later in the show.

The story was dramatically changed and that was a good thing. It was much more cohesive this time around. There was only one villain: the Green Goblin. In previews Aracne was kind of jealous and tried to do bad things as well. I’m glad they cut that.

I don’t know if I didn’t notice it before, but there were several U2 references this time. In a boxing match scene the announcer said “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and the Green Goblin’s ring tone was another song. Prior to turning into the Goblin the scientist puts on Bono-esque glasses and says something about being a rockstar. I’m pretty sure I remember the dance club scene with Vertigo playing, however.

Now onto the Green Goblin. He was a riot. He really appears at the end of the first act for a bit, then comes on at the beginning of the second act. He came out after intermission and there were people that had not made it to their seats and he stared them down. He was very interactive with the audience which made it even better. There was a whole scene where he’s trying to call the newspaper and is put through an automated call system. Anyone who has called Cox Communications before understands that frustration. He also made some comment about how much his company spent on research or something like that and the quote was “well it was about 65 million dollars, well really more like 75,” which is the total cost to date of the show. Hilarious.

The first act was pretty slow, to be honest. Very little flying, which of course is the most exciting part. The second act, however, they were all over the place. It was amazing being in the front with them flying over your head. I won’t lie I was a wee bit concerned about someone landing on my lap, but I didn’t worry too much. I am really glad I cut my hair off because there was some Willow Smith action happening (whipping my hair back and forth) and I could have taken an eye out.

Acting and singing wise the show was phenomenal. The actor playing Peter was very different than Reeve, but you could tell he was trying to pick up some of Reeve’s mannerisms. He had an incredible voice though. A new Mary Jane started a few weeks ago and she was beyond amazing. Unfortunately I thought she was a lot better than the first MJ. Aracne was also different; not in a good way or a bad way, but there were extreme physical differences from the previous actress which gave it a different feel, plus the character itself had changed so much.

After the curtain call they sweeped the orchestra, however since the orchestra was below the stage (different from most shows) they showed them on the screens on stage. When it was all said and done Mr. Green Goblin spoke to the audience about a charity that the Broadway shows support during this time of the year called Broadway Cares. It is a charity that raises money for AIDS patients a well as breast cancer patients. I knew immediately that one of my CrossTimbers dollars had to go to it. Well then he started talking about the “stuff” for sale. It was all tax deductible! I ended up with a Broadway Cares Christmas album and a bracelet made of the flying rope and Spiderman costumes. Yeah I’m a nerd, deal with it. I also managed to come home with some “spider webs” from the last big fight scene.

Overall it was an excellent way to spend a rainy afternoon in Manhattan. I think the changes that were made were for the best, however there were a few minor things that I didn’t like.

On my way back to the apartment I made a quick stop to Grand Central to take a few pictures.

When I got back to the apartment Whitney suggested we check out this new store that had opened on 5th Avenue. It is call Uniqlo and it is Japanese. They have a lot of warm weather stuff, which I have little use for in Oklahoma. There was, however, a coat that I almost had to take home with me. It seriously felt like a marshmallow and it fits into a teeny bag and would be ideal for traveling in the winter, since taking a heavy coat is always a pain. Alas, they didn’t really have a color I wanted, so I chose not to buy it (this isn’t to say that I might not try to order it online or have Whitney go buy me one!).

After that we met up with her boyfriend and went to Chipotle. When we got done it was 8:50 and apparently around the corner is an excellent bakery for cupcakes, however it closed at 9:00. We booked it, made it in time, and ended up with free muffins for breakfast the next day!

I was sad that it rained and I felt like I missed a day in the city, however I think I used my time quite wisely!

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