We slept in a bit on the 4th of July - everyone is entirely EXHAUSTED.
Then we got up and got ready for the theater.
All 6 of us ate a pre-theater meal at Planet Hollywood... definitely NOT our first (or second or third or 20th) choice, but Times Square was PACKED and we did not allow enough time.
Then 4 of us we went to see "West Side Story" at the Palace theater (me, jade, lando, Miss M).
Our seats were good and the theater was pretty crowded.
It was fun to see a play set on the west side of NYC when we were IN the city.
West Side Story is a modern version/interpretation on "Romeo and Juliet" - so how could you go wrong there? The music/songs are AWESOME!
That said, here is MY review:
I really liked the actress who played Maria. I liked her look, her acting, and her voice.
Tony was adequate. The kids REALLY did not like his voice - too nasal and too much vibrato.
I had a problem with how gay he seemed. I understand that a huge majority of stage actors/dancers/singers are gay and always have been... but I need to be able to BELIEVE they are straight and capable of actually falling in love with Maria and are enjoying holding and kissing her... with this cast, I did not. (The same went for most of the dancing, twirling, singing "gang" members.)
Speaking of kissing - Maria & Tony did a lot more kissing than I remember, this was sad to me... I felt like their love was because they were kissing so much instead of the true connection they had instantly developed. Also, did they go to bed together in the movie and earlier stage versions? They may very well have, but I don't remember it... in this version, they did.
Anyhow, they changed a few musical numbers: "America" is now sung by all the Puerto Rican girls - not the guys & girls together - and many of the word have been changed. Both "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That" were sung entirely in Spanish (also, a LOT of the Puerto Rican dialogue was in Spanish). While this may have added to the authenticity, it was NOT as enjoyable from the standpoint of being able to follow they story line and enjoy old-time favorite classic songs.
The actress who played Anita was really good.
And the song "Officer Krupke" was a stand out.
I even got a little tear in my eye at a couple of points.
Over all quite enjoyable.
Lando shopped for shoes and ended up calling Deevs over and they each bought a pair (Lando actually bought two).
After the play, we reconvened at the room. D stayed and rested. Miss M & Deevs went out into the throngs of human beings in Times Square to shop. Jade, Lando, and I walked down 8th to see the "garment district" (we think we might've been told the wrong area?) down kinda by Madison Square Garden and the Port Authority Bus terminal - kind of a seedy area (side note: D & I were there 17 years ago on vacation and we took a bus to this terminal from Jersey).
We ate at White Castle. Our first real White Castle burgers (not frozen).
Afterward, it was off in search of fireworks. Macy's had changed locations this year to the Hudson (from the East River & Battery Park locations of previous years). As per our concierge, we headed down around 8 (because you had to stand the whole time - no seating). We got down there and waited in line for 30+ minutes only to find out eventually that they had shut down the street - no access... they told us to walk to 50th.
We walked (with thousands of other people) to 50th. It was closed. Block by block they sent us upward. Block by block we walked. There were no openings. One NYPD officer told us they water front areas had been full since 5:00PM.
We found and opening in the buildings and stood in front of a chain link (razor wire topped) fence and watched a corner of the show. (See video below.) The crowd that gathered behind us still "ooooed" and "ahhhhed" and were still appreciative. It was kind of a sweet reminder about how little many people expect and how satisfied we can choose to be. It was overall a kind of humorous experience and seemed - in the end - to be a kind of quintessentially New York experience; crowds, police, sirens, chain link, poorly planned but still a spectacle.
Notice the crowds behind us and understand that this is a TERRIBLE viewing spot and yet there are a ZILLION people gathered to watch ("I do not think this plan was very well thought out, Master"). Also, notice the wailing sirens in the background!
We had a LONG walk back when it was over and then we just walked around Times Square for a while. It was as crowded as Disneyland on New Year's Day. Literally wall-to-wall people. But the chaos, lights, noise, smells, sounds, sights, variety, etc. are what you go there for... and MAN, did we get it! (Also, I have never seen so many police officers!, so you felt completely safe all the time.)
Over all, another full and fun-packed day.
Happy Birthday America!!!!!!