Monday, June 10, 2013

The News On Newsies

Thanks to my brother, I got two free tix to Newsies.  I had vague memories of watching this Disney movie about a newsboy strike, so I figured the Broadway version would be entertaining.  I met S at Party City where you can buy balloons for any occasion--boombox? check. champagne glass? check. dolphin? check.  They have it all.  We waited in the anteroom for the rain to pass as we saw pedestrians filing in to sit down and wait more.  The rain got harder and harder.  I had an umbrella so we decided to share it.  Getting to the subway at the end of the block proved to be a challenge, getting through the umbrella obstacles of others.  My little umbrella barely covered us both so while our heads remained dry, each of us had a very wet side and semi-wet bag.  The rain was coming down and sideways in large drops and then in waterfall like streams. 

This is what you can do with Instagram. 
We'd planned on walking but really, it wasn't an option if we wanted to not be drenched, so we waited on the platform where people were closing umbrellas and walking around with them any which way.  Some people need to learn how to carry an umbrella if they want to use those uncollapsable ones.  Carrying around a long pointy object with the point pointed forward and out at everyone around you is not the way to  make friends.

Once we got to the next stop, we got out.  See?  We would've walked.  The rain was really that bad.  So bad, in fact, that there were pools of water in the subway station.  When S attempted to go up the stairs, she was hit in the face with windy rain.  We went to another wider exit that wouldn't act as a wind/rain tunnel, and there were about fifteen people standing and watching the downpour with more people coming in for cover.  One woman asked someone how long they'd been waiting.  A man answered, about fifteen minutes.  Not wanting to wait since we were on a schedule, we took our chances with our one umbrella. This was a good plan, no?

We got five steps from the subway station and the skies opened. Kiddie pools of water came down at once.  The water was up around our ankles.  We found  a man selling umbrellas at the entrance of the store we were heading to.  He was reaching into the store to get money and give umbrellas.  People were crowding the entrance to buy from him.  But no one was moving either way, so neither of us could get in.  S took a run for it without the umbrella and pushed through.  I said, Excuse me!, twice.  No one moved.  So I collapsed the umbrella and also pushed through.  Rude but effective.  People moved away from my dripping umbrella as if it were covered in acid.  Seriously, if they thought they were not going to get wet, they didn't understand what rain was.

This is where our soak-factor stood: S's bag had one side soaked.  One of her arms was soaked.  Part of her shirt was wet.  Her other arm was slightly wet because I'd accidentally hit it with the umbrella.  Oops.  My bag was damp.  My entire right side from my shoulder to my foot was drenched.  The tips of my hair were wet.  Standing in an air conditioned store felt like standing in a walk-in freezer. 

The rain let up a bit after a few minutes, so we headed out to get pizza.  We couldn't decide if we should use umbrellas because it was a mere drizzle.  Some people were using them, some people were walking around in weapon-umbrella mode, and everyone looked semi-miserable and damp.  The food was good though.  Fast.  Yummy.  And when we headed out, there was a huge line to get in, so we'd timed it just perfectly.  Somehow maybe the rain helped.  Doubtful, but it's some kind of consolation to think so.

Walking out after dinner was a pleasure.  No umbrellas needed.  We found the theatre quickly and stood on a long line but it kept moving.  The ticket scanner people told us to go to the furthest door and take the stairs on the left.  We did so and found that this was the never-ending staircase.  That's fine.  I like sitting high up.  I usually like the front mezzanine, but this theatre had good seats in even the rear mezz.  The usher at the door looked at my ticket--seat 20--and then to S said, You're seat 22?  We were like, No, she's....  But the usher jumped in and then suggested, No? 18?.  No we said again.  Then her face fell a little and she said, Oh, they split you up.  As if it were the worst thing ever to not have seats together.  She told S to go to the next door and then counted how many rows down I needed to go.  I felt bad letting her down about the seating.  So did S.  We met up in the middle of the row until the other people showed up.  Seeing that we split up, the woman next to S suggested we all change seats since she knew the empty seats would be filled by her sister and someone else they knew.  So we wound up sitting next to each other anyway amid a bunch of people next to us and behind us who all knew each other.  If only these people had shown up at the same time as us...the usher at the door would have not lost all hope in happiness.

The people in front of us asked us to take their picture on the sly before getting yelled at.  We did it as quickly as possible even though their camera decided to stop working when they handed it to us.  Then we asked them to do the same for us.  We did not get yelled at.  People around us got yelled at.  Even during the show, one of the ushers needed to go down and yell at someone for taking pictures.  I can see how you'd want to take pics before or after, but during?  Really?  Who does that?
During the first act, they seemed to sing the same three songs over and over.  There was singing and dancing happening at every few minutes.  It was non-stop.  Very entertaining.  Also, very informative about the history of the newspaper and unionizing.  All of this would have been much more of a good time if not for the air conditioning blowing directly on S and me, only S and me.  Seriously.  S was cringing under her semi-wet cardigan and I was hugging myself and hunching over.  The a/c did not stop, and whenever the dancing got intense, the a/c got intense.  Why it was on us and not the dancers, I don't know.

The second half started with a big tap routine that incorporated playing the spoons.  That's when I thought to myself, wow these guys are really really talented.  I mean, it's one thing to know how to dance, but to know how to tap and play the spoons?  That's lots of stuff to know.  Plus, I like clicky noises, so it was the best part. The rest of the show was pretty good, though I couldn't quite get past the juxtaposition of the storyline of a bunch of angry boys striking and the entertainment aspect of their pirouetting.  Angry men simply do not show their rage by twirling.

Overall, it was a bit cheesy, but that's Disney.  We were happy to leave the wintery air and walk in the non-raining night back to Penn behind two women who enjoyed the show so much that they were jumping and twirling down the street.  We did not jump and twirl, but we agreed it was entertaining.

Whose got an awesome brother?  I do.  Thanks for the tix...we owe you.

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