Tuesday, March 11, 2008

NYC March 08

Pull up a chair, kids. This is a long one!

We are on the plane back from an incredible trip to our favorite city, so I figured I would get a jump on blogging.
Although the weather was not very cooperative for our agenda, we had such a great time being back in the city. We both felt instantly comfortable and at ease as we started milling around.
We stayed at the Marriott Marquis this time thanks to reward points we had accumulated over our recent travels. Wow. Want to really spoil yourself for future hotel stays? Check into the Marquis and be fortunate enough to get an upgrade which included a room with a view of Times Square! Whuut?! (In case you were wondering, hotel blackout curtains are good, but they are no match for the bright lights of Times Square!)

This is the fitness center at the hotel. It's a big atrium-like room with rows of treadmills facing out over Times Square. Even I considered working out with that view! The little capsule-like thing to the right is one of 14 elevators that run in the center of the hotel.

After checking in, we immediately headed over to Zen Palate for the first of four meals for the weekend. That place is just awesome! It is incredible what they can do with a vegetarian menu! Not to be obsessed with the food on our trip, buuut here are photos of most of the four meals we ate there! I am happy to report that I tried something different at every meal and have now expanded my knowledge base of the current menu.

Thai Chopped Salad Shredded Heaven
Curry Noodle Soup
Shredded Melody
Zen Burger with Yam Fries

After that we rode the subway uptown and ended up at the Apple Store on the south corner of Central Park and 5th Avenue. That whole setup is just cool!

The glass cube entryway is pictured here.

This is a shot looking up into the cube from the store which is below street level. On our ride back to the hotel I captured proof that a New York subway ride is a calming and relaxing event!
Did I mention in earlier posts that we had 5th row tickets for Wicked? Yeah, so we went back to the room to get dressed for dinner and the show. We made arrangements to meet up with my longtime friend Kay and her partner, Sherry for dinner before the show. We had a great albeit rushed meal since they had tickets for a show too. By the time dinner was over weather conditions had quickly deteriorated and we found ourselves trudging briskly through the streets to the Gershwin. Our plans were to take a cab, but it became apparent that were we lucky enough to actually get a cab, we’d be stuck in traffic and risk missing the 8 o clock curtain. Wet shoes would dry. Watching Steph burst onto the stage as Elphaba would not.

The show was incredible! We have seen Stephanie in this role a number of times in a number of cities, and this time she sounded better than ever! Jen and I cheered wildly from our awesome seats, each quietly thinking that she had seen us from the stage!! She sounded absolutely wonderful and just like the first time I saw her onstage, I was again awash with chill bumps and pride! She does this role such justice. I was so looking forward to telling her all those things at the stage door in a few hours. Little did I know it was not meant to happen.

We waited at the stage door, like every other time, for her to exit. It was cold and wet, and they came out to let us know that she wouldn’t be out due to the conditions. It’s hard to not be disappointed, although we both kind of expected that this could happen. So we decided we’d stop by the next night and hope the weather would hold out. I went back to the room and sent Steph an email saying that we enjoyed the show and hoped to catch up with her the next evening.

Yes, more food...Two Eggs and Cheese on a Roll, Fruit Granola & Yogurt from Cafe Duke, our favorite local food stop for breakfast. This place is like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. You better know what you want at the counter and order it correctly or "No soup for you!"
Now, I am going to give a shameless shout out to my iPhone for what I am about to tell you. Because I can get my email on the fly, anywhere I have a signal, including at the lunch table Saturday afternoon, (yes, Zen Palate) I was able to retrieve an email back from Steph apologizing for missing us, and that she saw us the night before in the audience! She said that she has been dodging the flu, and the bad weather made it impossible to come out. She asked us to come to the theatre after the show that night and tell the stage door handler that we were there to see her and we’d be taken care of from there. I guess you can imagine that I was ruined, ruined I say, for the rest of the day! Heinz Ketchup ain't got nothing on our anticipation for that afternoon! We decided to busy ourselves with a show since the weather was fully crappy by this point.

From lunch we opted to pick up last minute tickets to see A Chorus Line instead of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. The weather was pretty awful by this point and the allure of walking out of the hotel, across the street, into the theatre for A Chorus Line sounded better than schlepping to the subway and walking 7 blocks in the rain to see the other show. Also, our friend Nick is currently in the production and we wanted to say hi to him. Here we are with him last June outside of The Pirate Queen.
The show was great and Nick is just the cutest little chorus boy we know!

After the matinee, we headed back to the room to chill before dinner and the trek to see Steph. For grannies like us, waiting around to go out at 11pm is a feat in itself! Jen opted for people watching from the 33rd floor into Times Square! You'd be surprised at how interesting it is to watch the happenings down below!

So we finally made our way to the theatre to see our green friend.
Surreal doesn’t even begin to explain what happened after we announced ourselves at the stage door as instructed.
We were handed off from the stage door to Eddie who asked us to get in the elevator, press 2 and Kathy would be waiting for us there. Kathy is Steph’s dresser for the show, and as she described it, “Stephanie’s shadow” After exchanging hellos, I looked up to realize that we were backstage at the Gershwin!!! Other actors we recognized were whizzing by and going about their business as Kathy said she was going to give us a little tour of the area while we waited for Steph to “de-green”. We found ourselves smack in the middle of all the props: the bottles of green elixir, Fiyero’s Pedi cab, the Oz head, the stairway at the castle, Glinda’s wand, Elphaba’s suitcase she carries on her arrival at Shiz, (see photo above) and her broom which is such an important prop in "Defying Gravity". We couldn't resist running our fingers across some of these iconic pieces. wow.

Everywhere we looked there was something familiar and yet new. Talk about your senses being overloaded! We stood on all the marks for the show on the stage, stood where the cherry picker comes up for the Defying Gravity show stealer, and the trap door for the final scene. Then Kathy took us a bit farther back to just outside Steph’s dressing room, and stood there talking to us about what we do, but clearly had been told by Stephanie that we were some friends from Florida. Again, whuut?! This woman who minutes before had just brought down a full house was talking about us to her dresser?!
Then the next thing you know, we’re standing in Stephanie’s dressing room hugging and chitty-chatting about everything. It was so nice to see her again and catch up. She let us know that from now on, she would just “whisk” us up to see her via the stage door so we didn’t have to wait outside. Whuuut?!
Here we are in the elevator (note the emerald green curtains!) on the way back down. We opted to not photograph anything while with Stephanie, but couldn't resist taking these shaky shots with our phones to capture our reactions afterwards!

We settled for a photo with the star at the marquis outside. If you need your memory refreshed, check the archives for pics of us with Stephanie in the past. ;)
So we confirmed with Stephanie that we will be coming out to LA in September to see the previews of 9 to5 and then back again to NYC in April of ‘09 for the Broadway run. The whole thing was just wonderful and fun and unexpected. Isn’t that just the best way to have something happen? sigh.


Anonymous said...

OH! MY!! GOD!!!! I am SO excited for you guys!!!! WOW!!! I just don't even know what to say! Amazing! What a great 15th anniversary story!!! It doesn't surprise me at all that Stephanie sees how special you two are, because you are both amazing women. bh

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a great trip! So happy for you guys. It's true, the unexpected things are sometimes the best. RN