NYC Theatre Tour 2018 blog
A snowstorm! Another nor’easter was predicted. A coach full of travelers departed from the parking lot at The Goodspeed in East Haddam and made it to the Marriott Marquis at Times Square in just under two hours. Unheard of! Interstate 95 was empty, and only wet roads in Connecticut. No one apparently went to work since the news reports were so daunting.
|Gloria Gorton, Mary Jane Dunn, Joanne & David Marriott relaxing in the hotel lobby|
Our theatrical experience began with a volcano, confetti and beach balls at the Wednesday matinee of SpongeBob SquarePants. What a shame that half the theatre was empty due to the snowstorm, but it allowed some of us to spread out into a row of our own. The musical, based on a children’s cartoon, was a hit with our group. Here is one quote:
“I did not really think this show would be up my alley, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The post-show talk was also interesting. A great choice to start the trip!”
|Judith Macri under bright lights at the sound effects booth||Post-performance talk-back|
After settling into our rooms at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, we gathered at the revolving rooftop restaurant, The View for our Welcome Dinner. Cocktails flowed and the snowflakes provided a beautiful background setting. Fellow tour member, Lorraine, was smart enough to get into a cancellation line to get an extremely tight ticket for Springsteen on Broadway for after dinner. There are perks of being in NYC during a snowstorm.
|A welcome toast from the Benedicts||Lorraine Smith heading to Springsteen on Broadway|
On Thursday we had a private lunch at The Lambs Club. Guest speakers were Itamar Moses and Allan Williams. Both of these gentlemen have prior Goodspeed connections. Playwright Itamar wrote the book for Nobody Loves You, presented during our Festival of New Musicals back in 2011. He is the playwright for The Band’s Visit. Mr. Williams, a general manager, introduced a few new shows to The Terris Theatre over the years. Remember All Shook Up and Camille Claudel? His company is represented on The Band’s Visit and Escape to Margaritaville. It was interesting to hear how both of the shows arrived on the Great White Way as a precursor to seeing them.
|Itamar Moses and Allan Williams speaking at the Lambs Club luncheon|
Some of us rushed over to New York City Center for an optional matinee of an Irish play entitled Party Face. Yes, it was great to see Hayley Milles on stage, but the real treat was seeing our chum Klea Blackhurst (Goodspeed’s Dolly Levi from our 2013 production of Hello, Dolly!). Following a talk-back, they let us sit on the stage for a group photo.
|Group photo with Klea Blackhurst||Staff members Mary Miko and Gloria Gorton|
Thursday night: My Fair Lady. Who doesn’t drool over seeing this musical masterpiece? The lead role of Eliza Doolittle was played by Lauren Ambrose, who grew up in New Haven. Her mother is a Goodspeed subscriber! It was only the third preview performance, and the show ran over 3 hours. She literally danced all night. We all knew the words.
Friday morning the group had a private tour of Carnegie Hall. It was a relief to get there without practicing. One of the tour guides kept making a reference to East Haddam. Why? He came to see our production of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn. Goodspeed followers are everywhere.
|Jane, the second tour guide
||Seats in the parquet, not the orchestra||How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?
L to R: Mary Makowka, Irene Ross, Lee Snyderman, Goldie Liverant and Elaine Reskin
|Talk-back after The Band’s Visit
The Band’s Visit was the musical for Friday night. Since last fall, the word on the street is that it will win the Tony Award for the 2018 Best Musical. Written by Itamar Moses with music by David Yazbek, the play tells the story of an Egyptian ceremonial police band stranded overnight in an Israeli desert town. The play, according to NPR, ‘tells a story of common ground between cultures.”
Another member’s quote: “I absolutely LOVED this show.”
Saturday was our last day. Right after breakfast we took the Sardi’s Secrets tour, complete with mimosas. Ever wonder how many portraits hang on their walls? Have any ever been stolen? Sardi’s Restaurant is still a family enterprise. Sean is the manager and grandson to Vince Sardi, the original owner. After the tour, margaritas were ordered, we enjoyed a leisurely three course lunch, and then strolled back to the Marriott Marquis Theatre for our final musical, Escape to Margaritaville.
Several people, obviously Jimmy Buffet fans, remembered to pack their Hawaiian shirts for the occasion. We began with a volcano, confetti, and beach balls - and ended with them!
Again, we had a wonderful talk-back led by the show’s conductor, Christopher Jahnke. Chris was a music assistant at Goodspeed for nine years. Since 2004, he has orchestrated, arranged, and supervised on Broadway and in London, leaving the music office in East Haddam behind.
Anonymous member quote: “The cast exuded great energy from the stage’”
The trip was escorted by Goodspeed staff members Nancy Altschuler and Gloria Gorton and planned by Special Events Coordinator Mary Miko.
Please join us next March for the 3rd Annual NYC Theatre trip!