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Old 03-11-2011, 07:48 AM   #16
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Another great update!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by cindybelle View Post
Kelly, that is a brilliant idea! I seem to be doing all my traveling this spring, so I should be around all summer. Let's go to The Little Mermaid!

Hey, anybody else going to be in STL July 6-14? That's when The Little Mermaid will be playing at our enormous outdoor amphitheater. Check it out: 2011 Summer Season
Great!! I was going to buy season tickets, but decided against it as my Mom & I just said we'd go to the ones we wanted then. Hey, the Muny even has free seats! Maybe I'll post something in the meet section to see if anyone else is interested.

And what a great day in NYC! You sure did get a lot done!
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:24 PM   #18
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Friday morning, we woke around 8:00 a.m. -- incredibly late for me, but that was our wake-up time every morning. Had a nice breakfast near our hotel, then tried to decide where to spend a good chunk of the day. (Still cold and breezy.) We'd both been to the Met(ropolitan Museum of Art) and MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), so when Sue mentioned that there was a special exhibit of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry-as-art at a museum neither of us had ever seen, I said, "Let's go!"

We are SO GLAD we did this, and I would recommend this to anyone (but especially those interested in architecture, Art Deco, or jewelry-as-art) -- plus it's a perfectly girlie thing to do.

It's at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (2 East 91 Street, NY NY 10128) -- it's in Carnegie's "simple retirement home" which is a work of art itself. Here's an article on the exhibition: NYC's Cooper-Hewitt to host Van Cleef exhibition | JA New York

More on the jewelry: http://beta.cooperhewitt.org/microsites/set-in-style

They have a little quick-shop type of cafe, and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the salads. We had a nice little lunch there.

They offer free guided tours of the exhibit at noon. Sue and I had a blast looking at the jewelry on our own, and then stuck around for the tour. One of our favorite experiences from this visit!

Wish we could have taken photos in there. The exhibit was really cool in that they used the beautiful rooms to great effect, plus they created some specially blown glass to house each piece so that we could examine each thing up close. They had some videos that were fascinating to watch of artisans creating these incredibly intricate pieces, some of which "zip" apart so that a necklace becomes two bracelets, etc. I didn't know anything about Van Cleef & Arpels until this -- very impressive! And I'm sure it's the closest I'll ever get to any of their jewelry.

Whoever put this mostly-private collection together for this exhibition deserves a lot of praise. There are pieces from the Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Princess Grace of Monaco (her entire wedding set, plus the tiara she wore at her daughter Caroline's wedding), and lots of pieces whose owners did not want to be identified.

Here's the front entry to the building -- very beautiful.




Afterwards we walked around and soon came to the Met -- we went in & shopped, but decided we were "museumed out" for the day.

So we contented ourselves with looking at the cool architecture in the area.




I like this shot of a building mirrored by another building.




We headed for Times Square late in the day. We went back to the Disney Store to ask for a recommendation for a quick dinner -- we weren't terribly hungry but knew we'd be sorry if we didn't eat before getting to the theater by 7:30 to pick up our tickets.




Of course, the Disney Store people were very nice and gave us lots of great ideas. We ended up at Hank's Cheesecake because -- well, duh, they have cheesecake! We split an enormous burger & fries and then a lovely piece of cheesecake marbled with chocolate. It was and plenty for us.

Next: Another evening, another show!
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #19
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Sounds like a fantastic tour! I'd love to see all that jewelry!
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #20
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That jewelry exhibit sounds wonderful. I love the Cooper-Hewitt. That and the Morgan Library are my favorite NYC museums.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #21
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Fabulous updates!!!! You ladies have gotten so much done in 2 days!!!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #22
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sounds like a great time so far, cindy! wish i could have joined in the fun. the little boy skating is too cute!!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:52 PM   #23
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OK, now we get to the title story that was the impetus for our trip: Wicked.

Our house seats were great -- center section, about 12 rows from the stage, so we could see the actors' faces while also appreciate the spectacle.

Did I mention that Sue had seen three previous productions of Wicked in various cities? I had held out to one day see it in a New York theater.

Keep in mind that it was cold outside, we'd been on our feet most of the day, and I had just consumed half of a large burger & fries, plus cheesecake, plus a beer. And the theater was comfy and rather toasty. So when I started feeling it may be to circumstances beyond the show's control.

That said, I'm sorry to report that both Sue and I were disappointed with this show. At intermission, I turned to her and said, "Is it just me? I am not emotionally engaged by this at all." Sue shook her head regretfully and replied, " it's not you. This isn't a good production."

One of her comments was that it was difficult to understand the lyrics (impossible for me, being unfamiliar with them) and nearly impossible to understand the actors. She thought maybe it was a sound issue. Yet we "heard" people singing/speaking -- the volume seemed fine to me -- but the enunciation was lacking in nearly everybody. Sue started quizzing me: (I don't want to give the plot away to those who haven't seen the show -- although I still don't get most of it)

Sue: "Did you get that ____ turned into the Cowardly Lion?"
Me: "He did? Nope, I sure didn't get that."
Sue: "Do you know why the popular guy picked Elphaba?"
Me: "He wanted someone with brains?"
Sue: "No."
Sue: "Did you hear the funny line 'The goat's on the lam?'"
Me: "Nope."
Sue: "I didn't think that actor enunciated well -- there were only a few laughs from around the theater after he said that, and it usually gets a huge laugh."

The quizzing went on after the show, with me answering "Nope" to every question. I still don't really get what happened at the end, and I didn't care about some key characters that I knew I should care about.

Regarding the enunciations: I hadn't understood several lines at "Billy Elliot" due to the thick accents, but I had no trouble understanding the plot or caring about the characters. So I get why Billy won Best Musical its year; I'm totally mystified by all the hooplah over Wicked.

Bummer! Oh well, with live theater you always take a chance. I just never expected to be so let down by Broadway.

The bright spot for both of us: Laura Woyasz, the understudy for Glinda (the Good Witch), who got to play the part that night. She was delightful -- incredible vocal range and acting ability, and she's a little bitty thing (so it was almost like seeing Kristin Chenoweth who originated the role 8 years ago -- Laura did a spot-on impersonation of Kristin's mannerisms). She was hilarious and her diction was impeccable. I still didn't particularly care about her character at the end of the show, but at least I enjoyed her performance.

Teal Wicks is the current Elphaba, and she's been getting rave reviews. She was good, but again I didn't care about her character's fate. Not at all. I expected Elphaba to be the most interesting character, but Glinda was way more watchable.

P.J. Benjamin has been playing the Wizard for 4 years -- we found him totally blah. Kyle Dean Massey is playing the heartthrob Fiyero, and we both found his performance a snoozer.

This week, I picked up the original cast CD at the local library and have listened to it three times to hear what I missed. I think I need to read the script or something --the songs don't explain enough of the plot.

I asked Sue if this was the worst production of Wicked she's seen, and she considered the question. Finally she said, "This one would tie with the first production I saw -- when the show was over, I was confused and thought the whole thing was convoluted." The best production of Wicked she's seen is one in Chicago.

I said, "Well, if you ever see it again and it's a really good production, please let me know ASAP and I'll get a ticket -- that's the only way I'll see that show again." She agreed. I think she felt worse about it than I did -- she said, "Cindy, you were so excited and it was your first time seeing the show and it's the reason we came to New York." But I said, "Onward!"

Sue thinks the fact the show has been playing for 8 years (with some of the crew having served for 3 years or more) may play into it -- maybe the cast and crew are bored. We heard later that the flu has hit this company pretty hard, so a lot of actors and technicians may have been under the weather.

But there's no excuse for not projecting the words properly. And frankly, there's no excuse for professional actors not turning in their top performance every night.

Of course, you can never go back and have a "first time" at anything. But now I wonder if I would love this show, even if I saw a great production of it. Every theater groupie has his/her own tastes and gripes. One problem I've had with musicals launched since about 1980 is that most don't grab the audience emotionally. They're big on special effects, costumes, and sometimes choreography. But there's no heart.

Example: City of Angels won the Tony for Best Musical several years ago. I saw a couple scenes on the Tony Awards that year and couldn't wait to see the show at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis later that year. My verdict afterwards? Some cute "tricks" but no heart -- ho hum. No need to see that one ever again.

Now, I realize that many of you absolutely love Wicked, and I've talked to enough Wicked groupies to know they definitely feel the emotional tug. So maybe a great production of it would win me over.

One reason I'd put off seeing Wicked locally was my fear that, as a huge fan of the 1939 movie (The Wizard of Oz), I would be overly critical. I realize Wicked is based on a book (which I hated because it bored me to tears and quit reading halfway through, but Sue hated the book too and yet enjoyed the musical in two prior productions), and that book is based on the L. Frank Baum book series of the 1900s -- and I'd read one of those years ago and not felt a thing. So maybe I was doomed from the start. We'll never know.

You can tell how close we were to the stage from this shot I took before the show started.




to give you such a downer story, but that's what happened last Friday night at the Gershwin Theatre in NYC.

The evening wasn't a total loss. After the show, Jason (the stage manager) showed us the backstage area. (Granted, I would have been more excited to see all the props up close if I'd loved the show, but it was still interesting -- and of course we didn't tell him we'd been disappointed in the production.) He talked about all the costumes -- they have backups for the standbys, so there are 4 complete sets of costumes for every speaking part -- you can imagine how much room Glinda's costumes take up on their own.

Then Jason took us to a little bar the actors hang out in, and over drinks and pizza he mesmerized us with stories about working with Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, and others. Kevin Kline (who's originally from St. Louis) really likes working with Jason and calls him anytime he wants to run lines for anything.

I had TWO Grey Goose thingies (SHERI, I blame you for that) -- and I was decidedly tipsy but kept trying to act sober. Sue told me later that I had been "very funny" and that she, Jason, and the cab driver who got us back to the hotel all "enjoyed" me. (Sheri? Dawn? Sound familiar? )

It was 1:15 a.m. when we got back to the room -- wow, we had talked with Jason a long time! I felt like that (almost) made up for the disappointment in the show itself. And now Sue and I have a theater buddy -- Jason emailed us both this morning that he wants us to call him anytime we're in New York. So that is very

I hope all you Wicked fans won't hold this against me -- Sue says it was a mediocre production, and she's very nice, so you should believe me.

Next: Saturday with Sue's mom, a delightful lady -- plus JAMES EARL JONES.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #24
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Oh Cindy I'm so sorry you were diappointed! The first time I saw Wicked here in STL I cried at the end.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #25
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Oh no!! So sorry you didn't enjoy Wicked!! I've seen it in NY, DC & Baltimore, and will see it in DC again this summer. I've loved it each time, and got something new out of it each time. But if you couldn't understand it, that would certainly explain part of it.
At least your fun theatah evening with the stage manager made up for a little of the disappointment in the show.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:19 PM   #26
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So sorry about your disappointment. I loved Wicked on Broadway the couple of times that I had seen it. But then again, my daughters (both involved in theatre) had been playing the soundtrack for quite some time before my first trip to NY to see it. I knew all of the songs and the plotline, so maybe that made all of the difference.
Great TR and love all of the things that you are getting out to see!
PS. LOVED Billy Elliott and had the chance to see the Tony award winning youngsters perform...so much talent at such a young age! Wow!
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:31 PM   #27
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So sorry about your disappointment. I loved Wicked on Broadway the couple of times that I had seen it. But then again, my daughters (both involved in theatre) had been playing the soundtrack for quite some time before my first trip to NY to see it. I knew all of the songs and the plotline, so maybe that made all of the difference.
That's true - I knew all the songs, and the general plot prior to seeing the show. I always tell folks to get the soundtrack before going.
A co-worker just saw it 2 weeks ago on Broadway, and she loved it. But she did know the music.
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My Previous TripsDisneyLand too many times to count; DisneyWorld: ('82; '94; '00; '04; '05; '08 - twice!; '10;'11 - twice; '13; '14, '15, '17); DCL (all 4 ships): ('00, '05, '06, '10, '11, '13, '15, '17); DVC Hilton Head Resort :D ('06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13 - twice, '15, '16, '17, Ď18)
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by OhToodles! View Post
Oh Cindy I'm so sorry you were disappointed! The first time I saw Wicked here in STL I cried at the end.
Kelly, you can explain the entire story to me when we go see The Little Mermaid! (Not the plot of TLM -- I'm pretty sure I'll be able to follow that!)
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My Previous TripsWDW March 1975 (first visit when I turned 20. Space Mountain was brand new--what a blast!), 1979, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1999 (solo/Herzogs), 2005 (Disneyland's and my 50th bdays -- four of us acted like 5-year-olds! - CSR/AKL), Dec. 2005 chick trip (CSR), solo Feb 2009, Passporters May 2009 (ASMo), Feb 2010 Solo/Sheri (BW), Oct 2010 MNSSHP (Poly), Dec 2010 MVMCP (WL), Mar 2011 GF, Dec 2011 WL, Feb 2012 AKL/BC, Nov 2012 AKL/PC Dreams Take Flight, Apr 2013 w/Sheri & Nora, Nov 2013 w/Sheri & Dreams Take Flight, Feb 2014 Sheri, May 2014 Nora, June 2014 SHRM & Sheri, Nov 2014 Dreams Take Flight w/Sheri & Diane, Dec 2014 Nora, Feb 2015 Sheri, Nov 2015 Dreams Take Flight w/Sheri, Dec 2015 weekend w/Nora ---- Disneyland June 2006
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:18 PM   #29
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I'm glad you didn't let a bad production put a downer on the trip, but I expect nothing less from you.

I didn't enjoy the book either.
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My Countdown Counting down to: Return to the Bubble
Sharing in the Magic!!!
My Previous TripsPoly Dec. 1979,off-site Aug. 1990, off-site June 1992, off-site Aug. 1993, CBR Sept. 2008, CBR Jan/Feb 2010, POFQ Dec 2011
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:26 PM   #30
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Sorry the show was a disappointment!
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My Previous TripsAUG '16 - POFQ, APR '12 - POFQ, JUL '10 - DL, AUG '09 - DCL Western, AUG '08 - POFQ/BC, AUG '06 - AKL/BC/DisneyWonder/Poly, DEC '05 - AKL, APR '05 - AKL/BC, DEC '04 - AKL, MAY '04 - AKL/BC, MAY '03 - WL/BC, MAY '98 -offsite, MAY '94 - BC, AUG '85 - Poly, AUG '83 - Poly, AUG '81 - Poly, JUL '79 - World Inn, JUL '76 - World Inn
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