Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Years go By

... and this past Saturday marked the 30th one since yours truly came out into the world to get his first of many whacks. The Lovely Wife(tm), naturally, would not allow such a momentous occasion go without a surprise party, blizzard or no, so it was a triple-header weekend for us. Lunch with the family at chez Efrex, and Motzei Shabbat dinner with 20 fellow foolhardy well-wishers at an Upper West Side restaurant (all Manhattan people, natch; the out-of-towners were snowed in, and I would've bopped anyone who drove in over the head).

Sunday was time for the annual birthday show (Wonderful Town, with a weak book but a great orchestra and a surprisingly well-cast Brooke Shields), followed by far too many hours at Marie's and the Duplex. Oy... at my advanced age, I can't exactly handle these late nights like this anymore...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Difference Between Inlaws and Outlaws...

...outlaws are wanted! Har! But seriously, folks

The Lovely Wife(tm)'s father and his wife came to town for a visit (first time in the city since shortly after our wedding) and a whirlwind tour of midtown Manhattan. Saturday night, we dined at Mike's Bistro, the latest attempt at a restaurant in a notoriously hard-luck 72nd Street location (we can count off four different places that have been there in the last five years). We're hoping this one sticks around, though: Mike Gershkovich is a former high school schoolmate of mine, and the man knows his stuff. Limited menu, particularly on a Saturday night, but everything we had was just about perfect. Gnocci with shredded duck, a pan-seared roasted salmon, and fresh sorbets... we're going back, and soon.

Sunday, it was off to Hairspray for my step-mother-in-law's first-ever Broadway show. More than a bit too much over-the-top acting by the replacement cast for my taste, but Bruce Vilanch does a really nice job of making Edna Turnblad his own character without trying to match Harvey Fierstein's efforts. I wonder, though, how much of the matinee audience is composed of non-native English speakers, since many of the wittier lines zoomed right out with no response (a phenomenon also noticed the first time we saw the show, about a year ago).

Brassy & sassy diva time: Kate Pazakis, one of our favorite high belters over at the 'plex, is now doing her completely inaccurately-named show, "The Sexless Years" in the upstairs room. Showing off some nice vocal chops (and a bit more skin than TLW would want me to see from two feet away), Kate goes through a nice little mix of jazzy and soft, with her power belt ready at all times. Highlights for us: the rarely-heard "Nothing Really Happened" from Is There Life After High School? (one of TLW's all-time faves), and Brian Nash's reworked (and completely unprintable) lyrics to Stephen Schwartz's "Defying Gravity" (Schwartz was at the show last night, and didn't walk out, so I guess he didn't mind too much).

Hey, Catherine: you sure you don't wanna convert Orthodox? If there's three sabbath-observant Jews around, maybe the Duplex can finally move its "Mostly Sondheim" night to some other day...

Monday, January 10, 2005

Here Come De New Year...

... Much like de old one, I'm afraid; still haven't quite gotten the hang of updating regularly. Big and exciting news of the past few weeks: spent new year's eve in Bal'mer, where TLW and I caught up with a couple of old friends, including the fabulous Luis Villabon in a production of JC Superstar. Now, it's weird enough to have three orthodox Jews watching a musical about you-know-who (my lame joke of the night: "We're part of an exchange program. We sent three Catholics over to see Fiddler on Broadway). Even weirder is hearing what sounds an awful lot like a D'veykus song in the score. (Listen to the last eight seconds of the clip from The Last Supper and tell me if "Always hoped that I'd be an apostle" doesn't sound "Hu Boreh U'Manhig" from "Ani Ma'amin"). Probably coincidence (the thought of Label Sharfman being an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan gives me the jitters), but bizarre nonetheless.