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Spring road trip plans are on the back burner now as we keep saying yes to projects. It’s good to have projects, but my ability to get her done is dipping. The only way to reign it in is with super mini getaways, otherwise known as nights out. In an effort to be a little less lazy about nights out this year, we’ve made a point to do at least one biggish night a month.

In January we went to our first hockey game.

In February we saw Il Trovatore at the Met.

In March we went hog wild, planning not one but two nights out. Early in the month, we caught Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies at Terminal 5 for my monkey’s birthday. The venue is a trek from the subway, about long enough to forget you have a destination and drift into walking just to walk mode. We were walking, walking, almost there and just about to cross the street when thunder cracks and a bolt of lighting flashes what looked like a few feet in front of the venue. It was so fast I figured I imagined it, but boyfriend saw it too and a group behind us went all giddy over it. How perfect for lighting to flash seconds before entering a Megadeth show.

Suicidal Tendencies delivered. There’s no way to overstate how good they are live. My much cooler, older punk rock sister introduced me to their music when I was a kid with pink hair and busted toes feeling bad for quitting dance. I don’t remember why, but they resonated and still do (and my toes are freshly busted). Up with the fists and middle fingers. Cyco Miko threw in all kinds of positive vibes between songs, talking about his skateboarder brother and getting back up when you’re down and not caring what others think. His command of the stage and the way the band played together so tight and yet never stopped moving made the experience of seeing them live feel like standing in the middle of a raging storm and loving it.

Megadeth sounded good but by the time they came on the heat and bright flashing lights, giant men and dancing hair were all too much. I put my hands down for a second and wound up shoved in a throbbing mosh pit. Pit survival 101: Skip. Sounds silly, but you can skip your way out of it and usually end up with a better vantage point. Near the end, I went up to the mezz and discovered the only disappointment of the night … the bathroom. Okay, in a packed venue of at least 95% dudes, I figured for once there’d be no line for the ladies’. Nope. One and only one line. Instead of a separate room for each gender, there’s just a bunch of single-person unisex stalls. How dare they.

 

For our second March outing we got to sit down! Hard to believe we intentionally went to Times Square twice in one month, but we did.

brightstar

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical Bright Star had its Broadway opening at the Cort theatre last Thursday. We thought the 6 pm show time seemed odd, but didn’t know we were going to opening night until arriving at the theatre to red carpet and fancy people doing interviews outside. Besides loving Steve Martin, the main appeal of Bright Star is its bluegrass music.

The music, dancing and performances, particularly Carmen Cusack’s, were all fantastic. The story is meh. It follows the somewhat common structure of telling two parallel stories, one in the past and one in the present. Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia did it best. The problem with Bright Star is the audience connects all the dots after the first few scenes and we’re just waiting for the characters to catch up. There’s no mystery in the past or genuine surprise in the present. Despite that, the show is entertaining.

The set adds a lot, too. Rather than stuffing the orchestra in a pit, here they’re staged on raised platforms to the side. The piano, bass and a few other instruments are played from a shack-like platform, which the actors spin and slide around with set changes. Details like a mountain range backdrop, sometimes purplish sky and a model train than choo-choos across a track at the beginning of each act (raised to eye-level of us balcony-sitting peasants) created a warm atmosphere. The train even blew smoke if you looked close.

Set in 1920’s and 40’s North Carolina, the story is based on a newspaper article about a baby found alive in a suitcase. We left the theatre happy, not just because Steve Martin and Edie Brickell came out at the end and played a song. It’s a sweet, charming traditional show with a few great songs and memorable numbers.

Compared to most Broadway theatres, the Cort is tiny and makes you feel like a giant. There are no columns or obstructed views and we liked our balcony seats. Oddly, the bathrooms are inside of the theatre’s house, rather than off of separate hallways once you leave the house. During the show we heard the sink running, stall doors swinging closed. Not a big deal, but quainter than expected.

What’s with my preoccupation with pubic bathrooms? Ever since getting LOCKED inside of one on my very first day of a jobby job ages ago, I’m paranoid. Some are surprisingly complicated or creepy if you overthink them, which I do. On a ferry to Block Island last summer I was washing my hands in one when a flash of color on the wall caught my eye. On closer inspection I realized it was a hole in the wall of the women’s bathroom and on the other side of that hole was a bar full of people. And way too many bars in the city get all cutesy with saloon-style double doors that hinge shut only after you align the grooves. This is not easy to do after a booze.

Those were our big nights out in March. Going out sort of tides over restlessness for now. When we do finally get in the car and go, ideally without our computers, our road trip tunes are ready to roll.

All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn’t give it to me

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