Consume · theatre · travel

Oh My NYC! : or How I Spent my Birthday in the Big Apple, Part 2

My second day in New York started pretty early. I was woken up at 1:30 am by a fire alarm at the hostel. Good news: it was a false alarm. Bad news: I had trod sleepily down four flights of steps to find that out. More good news: I never had to go outside in the cold and went back to bed.

The Ambassador Theatre in New York City.
The Ambassador

I woke up around 6 am or so to get ready for the day. I made it into the city around 10 am, bought a huge coffee and got in line for rush tickets for Chicago. The box office didn’t open until noon, so it was going to be a long morning. But the weather wasn’t too bad (in the 50s) and I was third in line. I had Spotify to keep me company and plenty of time to people-watch. I had some great conversation with others in line. The girl behind me told me how her husband (who arrived later) was also an American Football fan. She and her husband were Korean. The girl in front of me was keeping a physical diary of her travels. She was Vietnamese and had beautiful handwriting (in Chinese characters, of course.) A nice older man stopped to talk to us and tell us how wonderful the show was, how lucky we were to be first in line, and how we would have fantastic seats for the performance.

Poster for Chicago the Musical starring Eddie George.
Eddie George in Chicago.

When my feet started to hurt, all I had to do was look behind me and see Eddie George smiling his big smile. It really helped. He seemed to be saying, “Hey, girl. Don’t you worry.” And I didn’t. 🙂

Finally, the box office opened and I paid my $37. Second row seats for the evening performance to see Eddie George sing in a Broadway musical. Totally worth it. In case you haven’t guessed, Eddie George is my favorite football player ever. I used to watch him when he played for the Titans every Sunday. That’s when the Titans were a great team – Eddie, Steve McNair, Frank Wycheck, Javon Kearse, Derrick Mason – those were the days. I remember watching the Super Bowl in 1999 and crying like a baby when they lost. Eddie played for the Titans until 2004. The team hasn’t been the same since.

After I got my Chicago tickets, I hurried over to the Helen Hayes Theatre to see if I could score a rush ticket for the matinée of The Humans. Boy, am I glad I did. I got the last rush ticket for $30, another second row seat. I am pretty sure tickets were going for $225 that day.

I stopped into the Shake Shack for lunch. Those burgers are to die for. I didn’t get a shake because it was too cold outside. But I did have a burger and some crinkle-cut fries and a great big root beer. Yummy! After lunch, I took in the sights of Times Square before The Humans started at 2 pm.

The Humans at the Helen Hayes Theatre, New York.The Humans is a work of absolute brilliance. I believe it is the best play I have ever seen in my life. Great acting, incredible writing, and even the show’s movement was marvelous. Actors spoke over each other like a real conversation. The set was two floors and the blocking was orchestrated perfectly. The story surrounds a middle-class family gathering at their youngest daughter’s new apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. The themes of the play shift from togetherness to loss to uncertainty to chaos. Towards the end of the play I even felt a twinge of fear for the characters and their futures. The Humans is a timely representation of the “non-one-percenters” like me, and I assume, you. Frightening at times, optimistic at others, Stephen Karam’s play will live in my memory forever.

I will continue my story tomorrow. Come back to hear all about Chicago the Musical!



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