Dani’s Broadway Journal
Day 1, 7/9/05
|We are staying at the Waldorf Towers, in the
Presidential Suite no less. Well, that’s not exactly true. We’re staying
in a “sub-Suite” of the Presidential Suite. There is a main door to the
Presidential Suite but there is also another door that can be closed to
make the whole wing part of the Suite. It’s a very nice room with
twelve-foot ceilings and tasteful decorations. There is one king-sized bed
and a rollaway that fits nicely in the corner.
|We were offered a tour of the Presidential Suite
after our luggage arrived. It is to say the least large, not including its
two sub-Suites. Some of the more famous patrons of the Suite include:
Well okay, I made the last one up, but still. It’s
|Because we hadn’t eaten all day at 3:30 we decided to
have a very late lunch. Given our disheveled appearance after 2 hours on a
plane we elected to try the only restaurant in the hotel that would permit
our (okay, my) blasphemous jeans to enter their premises,
Oscar’s.Big mistake. The food was okay but our waiter (his
name tag actually said “bus boy”) Victor seemed to have been temporally
slowed down to some degree. After sitting at our table for, oh, about half
an hour he walked past and caught Dad’s meaningful glare and said with
great surprise, “Oh, you’re ready to order now?”The meal proceeded on along those lines until after
5:30. The people seated next to us, at his only other table, scarily
enough, got up and left without signing their check, to our great
The thing that strikes me about New York is how
Day 2, 5/10/05
|We had arrived early for lunch so we were done by
1:00. The Lion King tickets weren’t until 3:00 so we decided to stroll
around the campus of NYU witch was only a block away. It was odd, without
being told it was a campus I never would have guessed. It just seems like
part of the city.Mom had tried to find a pair of sunglasses that
weren’t $65 at the hotel and failed, so she went into a grocery store at
the campus. It was HOT out so Dad and I decided to check out the frozen
food for a while. The only hint that we were in a college town was the
fact that everything in the store was teenager sized. Mom also found some
nice looking cheap sunglasses too.After that it was time to head to the New Amsterdam
Theater on Broadway to see Disney’s The Lion King. When I was nine we saw
Lion King in Toronto but this was going to be my first “real” Broadway
experience. I was pretty calm and collected while we waited outside the
theater doors but about ten minuets before they opened the excitement
bubbled to the surface. At long last the doors opened and I got my first
look at a real theater. It was beautiful. We had the best seats in the
house: first row, center on the mezzanine. The wide sweeping ceilings had
beautiful paintings and gilt, the seats were made of green velvet. It was
one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When the lights finally
dimmed and the curtain rose I think I was the happiest person on the
|The show was even better than I remembered. I had
forgotten how good it was. The young Simba and Nala were exceptional! It
was such a great show. There wasn’t an inch of the stage that didn’t do
something. There were at least three trapdoors and a staircase (Pride
Rock) would rise in and out of the floor. The back half of the stage would
raise up to about a 25-degree angle. They had plants that would inflate
out of the floor and steam jets too. It was amazing. The lighting was
superb, too, and the costumes. There was one cheetah that was simply
breathtaking. The way the head moved it really looked like a cheetah. It
was incredible.After the show we bough a program and a shirt that
had a painting of Scar’s mask that says, “I’m surrounded by idiots”.
|We had already wandered around Times Square so we
just walked back to the hotel. Dad had been sick all through the last week
so he was pretty tired. Instead of going out we had dinner at the Japanese
place in the hotel. It was good, I had Chicken Teriyaki and a really weird
dessert. It was called “White Chocolate Ice Berg Floating on Deep Blue
Ocean”, no I’m not kidding. The ocean wasn’t very deep blue, it appeared
to be Lime Jell-O with white chocolate mixed in. It was served in a dark
blue bowl with a long curved stem that split into three. It should have
been on Star Trek. The only thing normal about it was the iceberg (white
chocolate mouse).All in all it was a very good day.
Day 3, 5/11/05
|It was sort of funny: our guide’s
name on the boat tour was Noah.He was very personable and cracked
a lot of jokes, he also knew a LOT about New York. He made a lot of
information very interesting.
|Because it was Cole’s birthday today I used my new
cell phone to call her. We suffered from a bad connection and I had to
redial her SIX TIMES!!Dad was still pretty pooped when we got back to the
hotel. We decided to cancel our dinner plans and have it at the Bull and
Bear downstairs. It was delicious. I had a Queen cut of Prime Rib with
garlic-mashed potatoes. Mom had a strip steak and Dad had Surf and Turf
with some of the best lobster I’ve ever tasted. Desert was to die for. It
was a real New York Cheesecake drizzled with strawberry sauce.Another great day.
Day 4, 7/12/05
|ME:||Fresh Jumbo Shrimp in a Carrot Reduction with
Foam and Spicy Pressed Carrots
|Lobster with Lichée in a Tangy Lemon Sauce with
|Squab served on an Onion Pilaf with bits of Lemon
|MOM:||Fois Gras Wonton with Vegetables|
|Cut Corn Ravioli with a Tomato Basil Sauce|
|Filet Mignon in a Beef Broth
|DAD:||Fois Gras with Strawberries in a Caramelized
|Sautéed Jumbo Day Boat Scallops in a Green Sauce|
|Black Sea Bass Filet in a Sweet and Sour Cream
This was the best meal I think any of us has ever
had. Every dish was an explosion of flavor. My favorite was Dad’s scallop
dish. Mom and Dad liked his sea bass. The meal was too good to express
with words. There was a REAL cheese tray. Mom couldn’t remember the last
time she had a real one. There were about twenty different cheeses to
choose from. She was in heaven. I personally thought they stunk (well they
Desert was the most amazing part for Mom and I. It
was a Jean Georges’ specialty, marshmallows, coffee, mint or vanilla.
They were not exactly the consistency of a normal marshmallow they were a
little softer. Dad turned his nose up but we thought they were great.
We returned to the hotel for a quiet afternoon.
hottest ticket on Broadway right now. I wasn’t as thrilled about it as I
am about Wicked or I was about Lion King because it’s based on Monty
Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail. Dad is the real Monty Python fan but
Mom likes it okay, too.Spamalot was playing in the Schubert Theater.
The show stars Tim Curry as King Arthur, David Hyde Pierce (Niles from
Frasier) as Gallahad, and Hank Azaria (voice of Homer Simpson) as
pretty good seats as far as location goes, they were second row balcony,
but the seats were so uncomfortable!!! There was no leg room. And normally
when someone tells you there was no leg room it means they only had a
couple of inches between their knees and the seat in front of them but in
this case “no leg room” means that my shins were digging into the seat in
front of me. I bruised the right one from prolonged pressure. There were
literally only seven inches between the seat and the one in front of it.
it. We were all laughing so hard!! The cast was the original Broadway cast
and you could tell, they had the audience in the palms of their hands. The
show was just so funny. They had their timing down to a science. It was
truly amazing that a line as simple as “Well, I guess we’d better go and
find some Jews” could bring the house down.Sarah Ramirez was incredible
as the Lady of the Lake. Her range was amazing;
there was no style she couldn’t sing in. She also had this really funny
number called “The Diva’s Lament” in the middle of the 2nd act (she doesn’t have much to
do in the 2nd act). In it she asks the audience
“what happened to my part?”. It ends with her yelling for someone to call
her agent. After haughtily finishing and stalking off stage the action
continues as though uninterrupted. Reading her bio I discovered that among
one of her less prodigious roles was the cashier in “You’ve Got Mail”.Spamalot was the funniest
show we’ve seen!!!
crossed the street and had dinner at an after Broadway standard, Sardi’s.
good. I had Shrimp Sardi’s and Chicken. Mom and Dad both had
cannelloni. The walls were lined with caricatures of famous Broadway
stars. It was a really neat place. We all had a really good time.
Day 5, 7/13/05
We woke up really late today (we didn’t start dinner
until 10:00 last night). We elected to cancel our lunch reservation at the
trendy La Bernardin and go to a tourist standard, Tavern on the Green.
Tavern on the Green has lots and lots of dining
rooms. There is a hallway covered in stained glass and mirrors that curves
around and eventually leads to a conveniently placed gift shop and several
of the dining rooms. The one we ate in was pretty, with a view of the
garden. It looked like we were eating inside an
Easter egg. The colors were all pale yellow, pink, and blue. There were at
least six miss-matched chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It was a nice
Central Park. We
hadn’t intended to stay afterwards but there were carriage rides launching
from outside the restaurant. We took a 45-minute ride around the park. We
had a nice Irish driver and a horse named Jimmy. He told us all about Central
Park and he drove us past the statue of Balto, the boat launching
station (kayaks), and the rows of famous writer statues.
very plodding gait until we were about two minutes from his stable. Then he
didn’t understand why a simple red light ought to keep him from his oats.
It was fun. The carriage was white with red velvet seats.
than I imagined. The trees are big, beautiful and green. It was quite a
shock to see green after so much gray. I felt really safe while we were
going around, and it didn’t have anything to do with the two-ton horse
attached to our carriage. There are also some really scenic places in
Central Park by the waterways. It was a really enjoyable afternoon.
until Wicked. All afternoon I had been so excited I could barely sit
still. After all, I have been waiting for more than 6 months to see this
show. Finally at 6:30 I couldn’t take it anymore and started getting ready
to go out.It’s funny, no one seems to take Broadway seriously anymore.
Everybody wants to go, but nobody wants to dress up for it. Admittedly Lion
King is a kids’ show and we were going to a Sunday matinee but the dress
for Spamalot was pathetic.Well, even if no one else dresses
up for Broadway, Wicked was my favorite show and I was going to look good
for it. I silently kicked myself for forgetting my green blouse (get it?)
but got dressed in a blue blouse, long black skirt, and black vest. The
show was at 8:00 so we wanted to leave the hotel at 7:00 to allow plenty
We encountered a problem downstairs. The theater was
only eight blocks away but eight blocks in high heals seems like eighty,
so we were going to take a cab, as were twelve other couples. At this
point I started to panic, I was NOT going to miss the opening of Wicked.
But luck was in our favor, a limo driver capitalizing on the lack of cabs
in the vicinity offered to take us the eight blocks for $45 + tip. Okay, whatever, just get us there in time for the show.
It ended up being a good thing because, fishing for
more business, he offered to pick us up from the hotel the next morning
for our flight. We arrived at the theater with plenty of time to spare.
Our seats were REALLY GOOD!!!
center section. OH MY GOD!!! We sat down and I was in shock. I knew we had
good seats but this was unbelievable. This theater was more modern than
the other theaters we’d been in. This one felt newer, the seats were wide
with lots of leg room and it was a lot bigger.
The other shows’ sets
somewhat extended into the theaters, but this one was just incredible. The whole proscenium was covered with gears.
Some of the gears were decorative but
others actually worked. There were also dead vines over everything. Elaborate
sets on each side of the stage incorporated balconies and staircases. A huge tin dragon
hung above the arch of the stage, animated by cables!!
Finally the show started, and WOW!! This was no
longer the Broadway cast, but everyone was so good!! The lead was a look
for Idina Menzel the original Elphaba. She sounded like her, and she
looked just like her.
After listening to the music for
six months I was still blown away by all the story that you can’t
necessarily get from the music. It was so cool to see all of the acting
that went into the songs that made them so great. All of the characters
were so REAL. I have seen some great theater but if the best thing I ever
saw was a 10 this was an 11. All of the talent that went into the show was
just so good.
The number that really surprised
me was “No Good Dead.” On the CD it is a really good song, but live it
stopped the show.
Because of where our seats were it
felt like we were getting a private show for the first five rows of the
audience. All of the major action of the show took place on the right side
of the stage, literally ten feet in front of us. TEN FEET!! It was like
they were telling this story to us. You could see all of their facial
expressions and it was just so cool.
There were two wings of the stage
that came out on either side of the orchestra pit and most of the major
action happened on that wing right in front of us. I have never had an
experience quite like this.
It was just a phenomenal show. I
loved every minute of it. At the end of the show we would all have happily
gone back in and watched it again.
After the show was over we loaded up on souvenirs, a
Wicked shirt that says “Defy Gravity” on the back, a coffee cup, a
program, a baseball hat, and a jacket.
show so we went to the Stage Deli (recommended by Thomas) and they had
sandwiches larger than their heads. I was too excited to eat.All in all this has been the best trip EVER!!!