Unexpected Presents

Joe Biden walked into a White House room filled with his family and friends. President Obama succeeded in surprising his bro Joe with a tribute capped off with giving him the highest honor a civilian can get. It wasn’t just the Medal of Freedom. It was the Medal of Freedom with Distinction. Which like maybe four people have ever received.

Meanwhile we geezers walked sixty blocks. Round trip to Broadway. To see The Present. An early Chekhov adaptation. Script needed a bit of work. Ben Brantley’s NYT review nailed it. But. Worth the shlep and the price to see the incredible talent of Cate Blanchett. Her range from subtlety to sexy to angry to crazy knocked us out of our sore socks.

Rare unexpected gift. Besides being able to perambulate from home to the theater. Seats in front of ours center row E empty!! Oh. And sixty degrees in January.

Dangerous Ray

Saw “Ray Donovan” on Broadway in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Liev Schreiber the unlikely Vicomte de Valmont. Although the play stayed incredibly true-to-Laclos’ 1782 French novel, Liev was a big lug of a roué. Not sure why he chose this particular role.

Read the risqué epistolary work in its original French. Graphic and ribald typical of the day. Très débauché. The play kept to the piece all the way. A good thing? Hmmm. It was 3 heures long.

Sultry Engagements

Off-Broadway Uptown Play. Engagements by Lucy Teitler. Three separate engagement parties as backdrop to betrayal and subterfuge in farcical ménage à cinq vignettes. Fast-paced laced with allusions to Victorian literature. Excellent 5-character cast. Michael Stahl-David as Mark will be Bobby Kennedy to Woody Harrelson’s LBJ in Rob Reiner’s new movie. Fun.

Sultry antidote. Watermelon recipes. Refreshing. Recently at Jean-Georges’ Nougatine, had a simple watermelon and goat cheese salad. Superb.

Nice Fishes

Pisces wishes. Come true. Celebrated a new CPW venue. Good year for fishes. Flatiron Gramercy Tavern striped bass. Fab. UWS Crave Fishbar fewer stars. DUMBO hipster cool SuperFine bar. Fun with family. All.

Recent Oscar-winner Mark Rylance in St. Ann’s Warehouse Nice Fish. Minnesota ice fishing meets absurdiste treat. Missed the Spielberg’s by a night or two. They also approved.

New York Eve

New Year’s Weekend Eve. Bar Boulud. So good. Telepan. Pretty bland. Dovetail serene. Too much bread, wine and cheese in between.

Constellations. Choice. Chance. Life. Death. Infinity. Balloons. Strings. Theoretical astrophysics. Bees. Jake Gyllenhaal. Ruth Wilson. New play in previews on Broadway. Thought-provoking show. Genius concept. Staccato scenes. Masterclass acting. Stellar directing. Gazing up from the front row.

Saturday Matinée

NBC’s Peter Pan Live! More like Walken Dead. Christopher’s zombie impression of Cyril Ritchard’s brilliant preening and prancing original Hook. Allison Williams’ creepy Pan surrounded by fabulously made-up rejects from Broadway chorus lines. Very gay and boring all at the same time. We could see the wires.

Tiger’s back on the course. Not Lily. A little rusty still. Spieth impressive. Florida looking good on a rainy cold day. Shrimp Fra Diavolo by the fire instead.

Mom Weekend

Weekend in Manhattan. 5-star Broadway play. Lobster. Sun. Son. Especially son. Best Mother’s Day. Central Park. Blissful getaway.

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The Realistic Joneses. Fatalistically familiar. Giggled for hours after. Will Eno wrote a modern day Godot meets Gonzo. It spoke to my inner voices. That’s good. Well… Toni Collette & Tracy Letts epitomized long-married dynamics in crisis. Marisa Tomei stole the heart of the piece with her languished anguished random musings. Flawless comedic timing. Michael C. Hall’s non sequiturs held the most truth. An experienced cast enhanced a beautifully written play about life and free restaurant mints.

Photo by: Ben Levine

 

Cross Town

photo-54Obamas kept following us around on Friday. As we delivered Strahl Brisket mid-town, Barack was giving a talk on the next block. Checked into our Hotel Giraffe, while Michelle and PrezO were dining down the street at Maialino. After our pre-theater supper at Bobby Van’s Grille, we took in Of Mice and Men. Around the corner, yup. First couple catching Denzel in Raisin in the Sun. Thought those crowds, sirens and security were just for us.

Of Mice and Men. Broadway debuts of both starsJames Franco as George Milton was perfectly subdued and resigned as keeper and friend. Chris O’Dowd stole the show as Lennie Small. A fine balance of sweet emotion and slow-wit. Steinbeck’s poetic words were delivered with flawless cadence. Sets and direction brilliant. Although obviously a hopeless plot, for me this play shone a little glimmer of humanity. If only we treated people as well as we do animals in the end. Tours de force. Still in previews, I predict rave reviews on Wednesday.

James Franco made a cameo visit to his KimYe bromance partner Seth Rogen on SNL last night. Cross-stalking is lots of fun!

2013

GOOD

FoxSports1- Reege Crowd Goes Wild
Game of Thrones– Red Wedding
Hotel Giraffe
Gramercy Tavern, Da Silvano
MadDad Photo Contest- Side Trek
Joey3Sticks- 50 Clambake
Book of Mormon, Motown
Fabritius’ Goldfinch at the Frick

BAD

Carnival (Ted) Cruz
Phippy wins British Open
Boston Marathon Djokers
Trayvon Martin jury
Carlos’ undangerous Weiner

Gotham – Thon

Quite the race. 2 hours 15 minutes. Northampton to West Side Highway. Parking space near the theater. Homemade hash at Gossip on 9th Ave. Climbed to second row mezz for Book of Mormon. Laughed so hard we cried. Genius concept, religulously hilarious, clever, sweet. Off to East Side. Parking space a block from Giraffe. Spots on the street best birthday present Dr.Husband could get.

Gotham B&G, 3 strikes. Out. 23 of 25 years it was best restaurant in Manhattan. Last couple. Not. But, we had fun and the crowd loved us. Staying downtown Sunday crossed back to West End. Space next to Betsey’s place. Walked to Arte Café near Columbus. Friendly, lively brunch. Not a runner in sight. We won!