Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00
9 a.m. in Jericho on a Saturday with no plans!
What to do? Where to go? Don’t waste the day!
Step One: Get The New York Times and The New Yorker. See what plays in which you have an interest in seeing a matinee are running.
Step Two: Call the box office and get seats. Don’t be shy, ask for a range of prices for the performance. You will have to pay a $7.50 fee plus $1.50 for your reservation by phone.
Step Three: Get an LIRR train schedule.
Step Four: Walk to the theater from Penn Station.
The matinee we selected was Million Dollar Quartet. Our seats were off to one side, but it is a musical and we knew we could hear perfectly. The two tickets together cost under $100. We shut off our cell phones, leaned back in our restricted -view seats and enjoyed the show.
Million Dollar Quartet takes place in Memphis, just before Christmas, in 1956. Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley gathered at Sun Records to toast Sam Philips, the man who launched their careers. Each performer sings the Rock and Roll tunes that made them famous, 23 in all. The audience rocked in unison, and it was great to hear some of those memorable ’50s and ’60s songs again. The Johnny Cash actor looked and sounded just like “The Man in Black.” Elvis twisted through Hound Dog fabulously. Carl Perkins showed off his Blue Suede Shoes and played a mean guitar.
The crazy rocking of Jerry Lee Lewis left the audience gasping with his Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. The audience was crazed leaving the theater.
It was now 3:30 p.m. We entered the Playwrights Bar and watched the World Cup, Denmark vs. Cameroon. We went to the Golden Theater to see if we could get evening tickets to Red, the drama about artist Mark Rothko. No cheap tickets this time. We paid over $100 apiece to sit in the next-to-last row seats in the mezzanine.
Actually, we saw and heard everything. Alfred Molina, who played Rothko, was brilliant in his portrayal of this dyspeptic genius who took his craft seriously. When he described the seemingly simple works of art, he transfixed the audience. His soliloquies on famous philosophers and artists were breathtaking. His discussion of Red and Black, the colors, was intellectual.
Of the only two actors on stage, Eddie Remayne received a Tony for his performance. Molina deserved one too.
As we left, we felt almost as though we had undergone a religious experience. This is a limited engagement, and it ends on June 27. See it!
Between shows, we walk through a street fair from 48th Street to 53rd Street. Roasted corn, sausages, and ice cream filled the streets, along with jewelry and pocketbooks.
A bare-breasted, guitar-carrying young blonde girl in a cowboy outfit with pasties posed for pictures with young men who gave her tips, which they secured in her cowboy boot.
After Red, we walked back to Penn Station. The streets were overcrowded with tourists and New Yorkers enjoying a beautiful summer night.
We slumped into our train seats, exhausted from a wonderful day in the “Capital of the World, N.Y.C.”