Photo taken at Economy Candy Market on Rivington Street
On Wednesday and Thursday, I ate insane amounts of food, starting with my Big Brazilian meal. Between then and my return trip home, I consumed lamb, pork, beef, cheesecake, turkey, chicken, bamboo, olives, and some stuffed grape leaves that really brought out the Greek in me.
The Brazilian system was interesting. All of us had little cards at our place setting. One sign had “stop” written in red, the other had “go” on it, written in green. You started out in the center of the restaurant, selecting your greens, and sushi, and other delicacies, which were supplemented (if you were on “Go”) by food from the roaming waiters, who would wade through the tables with various meatstuffs, and carve out a slice or two for you, if you so desired.
However, my favorite part of the trip occurred between meals. As I mentioned yesterday, the lure of the theater district was too much for me to resist, and I ended up waiting in the TKTS line to pick up a ticket for...of all things... Xanadu, which is playing, in previews, at the Helen Hayes.
I couldn’t help it! Memories of the horrible-yet-somehow-strangely-fascinati
I’m glad I did. I thought the show was almost as enjoyable as Mama Mia , frankly. Certainly, it’s crafted out of the same cloth, poking light fun, as it does, at its source. Actually, Xanadu cuts a bit deeper than Mama Mia ’s affectionate jabs at Abba. The author of this piece gutted the movie’s script in its entirety, replacing the dialogue with deliberately campy lines such as, “I know! I’ll assume a really thick Australian accent and change my name from Clio to Kira! Good-dai maites!”
And the actress who plays the Olivia part (Kerry Butler) is wonderful. She has the voice down perfectly, and performs the role as weird hybrid between Olivia and a Buffy-bot. She’s supported by a small, enthusiastic cast, with two supporting actresses who do everything but chew up the scenery (in fact, at one point, they almost do exactly that).
Wednesday night, when I went, I was placed next to a group of people that were there to support an actor who plays one of the muses (although the Olivia refers to the muses as her sisters, two of them are men). An obviously gay coterie, the guys next to me were a delight to observe, and the minute that their friend took his bows, they sprang up to give him a standing ovation.
All the show needs is a good book, and it should hopefully, lives a long life (even if that online review from Vanity Fair did say that it was too gay for even Broadway). The music is, of course, all immediately recognizable, having added in some other classic ELO numbers, like "Evil Woman." They even through in a few Olivia extras, as well, like when Kira sings "Have You Ever Been Mellow?" to a glowering Zeus at the end.
I left the theater having entered my happy space, and didn’t even mind it when, the minute I exited the theater, loud crashes were heard, and the gods decided to rain down water from the heavens. Fortunately, my hotel was on the same street, and so I hung around a bit, inside a parking garage, until the downpour started to subside.
When I returned to my hotel, I turned out all the lights and lay on the bed, watching the lightning show from the 50th floor.
I had found my own little pocket Xanadu.