Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yesterday's Adventure

Close, Regina.

Yesterday morning my aspiring young actress friend, Eva May and I hopped onto a bus and headed for New York City to see Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway.

We've gone on several of these bus trips and this is the first time there was a woman driver. I think she must be charmed because it is the only trip that's gone without a hitch both directions. The tour company drivers are great which is why I prefer to let them drive but it's rare not to hit some sort of traffic snarl either in Manhattan or approaching the Lincoln Tunnel from either side. Yesterday, there was nothing. The ride was the same, just about 2 1/2 hours each way. Amazing.

Our day began with lunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Ever been there? If not, it's located at the corner of Broadway and 51st. This place has your basic 50's style diner decor. The catch is that the waitstaff entertains you while you eat. They take turns singing oldies and showtunes, while dancing around the dining rooms, upstairs and down, including on the walkway along the back of the booths. Our waiter had an incrdible voice. Yes, it does delay the arrival of your food but they make the wait so enjoyable that it doesn't matter. At one point they announced how many of their employees go on to perform on Broadway. Not at all surprising.

We had planned to shop for Eva's birthday present but got caught in a sudden downpour and spent some time under a tent in a street fair that we stumbled across. That's okay. We'll just go on another adventure to accomplish that.

On to the show. The Little Mermaid hasn't received the best of reviews which we think is highly undeserved. The costumes and sets have been called weird. Well, yes, they are. They're supposed to be. How else could Disney pull off giving an ordinary wooden stage the apprearance of being underwater? And then above water? And then switching in the middle of a scene? It was quite effective and Eva and I thought very well done. They added several songs not in the movie but they fit and enhance the show overall. The little boy that played Flounder in our performance was so cute, perfect. Sebastion and the Chef, such hams. Ursila, believably wicked and Triton, all-powerful but still the caring father. And finally, Ariel and Eric, mm.

Something you may not know about how they made the characters appear to swim. They wear shoe-skates. Yep. Singing and dancing while rolling across the stage. Fast. Really fast. And right to the edge. I'm sure they are specially designed. There's a wheel on each heal and the performers just put their toes down to stop. Looked like a piece of cake which I suspect is very deceiving. No way can that be easy.

Eva now has something else to work on in addition to her acting, singing, and dancing skills. Bet you never knew you had to be good at rollerskating too, did you? I'm not at all worried. I have faith in her. She's a talented, determined young woman and I have no doubts that she'll succeed. She's started talking about NYU's theater program so get ready everyone. You're all invited to Eva May's first opening night!


Kelly Kirch said...

WOW!!! Sounds like you had a lot of fun. The diner in particular would have been a blast. I think I'd have taken the bus ride just for that.

Amarinda Jones said...

I would like to see New York again. I had the best time there. One day

Sandra Cox said...

It sounds like an absolutely wondrous day. I have yet to get to NY. sigh.

Ashley Ladd said...

Your day sounds awesome. I'd love to see the show and dine where you did.

As per rollerskating, once you know it, it's like walking. It's easy. I love it. Ooh! Now I not only want to go to NYC and to Broadway but rollerskating. About the only one I can do down here in Florida is rollerskating - I'll have to plan it for next weekend.

Regina Carlysle said...

We eat at Ellen's Stardust every time we go to NYC (four times now). We always stay at the Novotel which is very close and I'll never forget being serenaded by a talented young man who sang "All I Care about is LOVE" from Chicago. Try their old fashioned "Malts" sometime. They serve them in those old fashioned glasses with a silve shaker that's frosted.Chocolote is the BEST. DEE LISH!!!! NYC is one of my favorite places in the world.

The next time I go I hope to see Mamma Mia (it's always sold out when we go)and maybe Hairspray. The Little Mermaid sounds adorable. Best of fortune to your friend Eve.

barbara huffert said...

Hairspray was an awesome show. I saw it when Harvey Fierstein was playing the mother. He added a great touch of humor to balance things out.

Had a vanilla coke at Ellen's made with real vanilla syrup, just like when I was a kid.

Regina Carlysle said...

I was actually in NYC when he was playing that role and it was right NEXT DOOR to our hotel. SOLD OUT. DAMN. Very frustrating. Mmm. Real vanilla coke. Man, I'm ready to go back. You're so lucky you're close enough to hit the city.

Molly Daniels said...

My mom saw Mama Mia a couple of years ago when my cousin got married in Manhattan. I was invited, but unable to go.

Indy has a Johnny Rockets diner, which does something similar. There is a nickel jukebox at every table with 50's and 60's music, and when 'Respect' comes on, the entire wait staff gets up on the counter and dances! Love going there!

Sounds like you had a great time!