---- New York City and Broadway 2022


Tues April 26, 2022: Back to Broadway!

Today we flew from the West Coast to NYC:  Greg landed in La Guardia from Palm Springs (through Dallas), Richard came into JFK from Portland and his brother Tom arrived an hour later from San Francisco.

This is a story of their trip.

Friends Elaine and Dianne came in from Pleasant Hill CA and Gladys and Ed also got here the same day from Oakland. Good friend Dorene has lived in Manhattan for many years.  We plan to see some shows together, explore some sites, and enjoy some fabulous food.

For the first time, this year we have purchased all of the tickets to the shows we will see --- before we left home

This year, we're staying at the Hotel Beacon. It is at 75th and Broadway. If we get on the subway stations 2 blocks away, and get on an express train, it is only 1 stop to Time Square!

The list of plays we are about to see should be familiar to many. Because of the Pandemic Pause, revivals which were about to open were put in “moth balls” awaiting a new opening. The NEW Original plays were not being produced, as the unknown of the pandemic made it practically impossible to mount new productions. So, with a few exceptions we are seeing revivals which are finally opening in April 2022


Wed April 27, 2022: A Two Show Day

Take Me Out. A serious play about a baseball team.

The original production had its debut in London, in 2002. It had its NY Broadway opening in 2003, with the same American cast. By the provocative title alone, you have a suggestion of the complexity of the themes. Yes, it’s about Baseball, but so much more. The play went on to win the Tony for best drama of 2003 when the New York audience started to dissect its various themes: gender, race, sexuality, celebrity and spirituality, not to mention major league sports.

The prolific Richard Greenberg wanted to write this show because of what he thought would be on the cusp of Major League athletes coming out of the closet, and the resulting reactions. That was 20 years ago. To this day still, there has not been a Major League Baseball player to come out while playing in the League. He created a star player Darren Lemming (Jesse Williams-of Grey’s Anatomy fame) who was a biracial handsome, athletic, intelligent, admired by everyone, Teflon “GOD” who at the peak of his celebrity casually announced that he was gay. Perhaps he thought that he was untouchable so he could express his own truths.

What follows is how that news is handled by the team, the press and ultimately himself. The play is mostly set in the locker room, where each of the players gather and exchange their own personalities. The author Greenberg is not always complimentary about the mental power of some of his athletes, but all of them are GQ worthy.

As you enter the theater, you are asked to surrender your cell phone (camera) where it is locked in a pouch and handed back to you. You see, some of the action involves locker room activities which while it’s happening casts a stunning pall over the audience but is so necessary to convey how the feeling of being exposed (literally and figuratively) changes how the athletes interact.

Into this story is another character who is introduced as the money manager of the star player. He takes on the assignment perhaps because of the opportunity to work with another gay celebrity or perhaps an infatuation. Mason Marzac (Jesse Tyler Ferguson-of Modern Family fame) knows NOTHING about baseball. It is through his eyes that little by little metaphors about baseball and life are revealed. Ultimately he becomes a fanatical fan of the game. Through his sometimes hilarious monologues he makes brilliant observations comparing baseball to democracy, to providing a “team” for the disenfranchised, and a place for him to “come out” as not being alone and unnoticed. `

Jesse Tyler Ferguson  and Jesse Williams

The story becomes quite complicated involving strong passionate human issues which in contemporary times have only become more apparent. The story takes a dramatic turn emphasizing the importance of making a change to understand ourselves. However, like life, we can only do our best with what has been pitched to us.

Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Tyler Fergusson, Jesse Williams.

Before our evening show, we met Dorene at a restaurant near our hotel.  She introduced us to 2 of her friends, Bob and Ian.  They left after cocktails.  Afterwards we took the subway to the Winter Garden Theater.

Bob, Greg, Ian, Dorene and Richard at Serafina (Italian restaurant) between shows. Doreen came to the next show with us.


The Music Man. Meredith Wilson
Yes, in this day of “WOKE” the Music Man is criticized for making light of its con artist’s problematic, predatory behavior, such as a scene in which he follows Marian home and tries multiple times to seduce her….That being said, we can now cast it aside and really enjoy what the Broadway Stage is able to convey.

This revival of “THE MUSIC MAN” is big, bright, bold, colorful, choreographed, costumed, funny, fully orchestrated FLUFF! And, in this day and age it is as welcomed and refreshing as a beach holiday. With the cost of Broadway musicals, nowadays, it is more and more rare to see a full out production on one of the largest stages on Broadway, the Winter Garden. This is your chance. 

It stars no fewer than 5 Tony winners in the cast. One would say that the show belongs to Hugh Jackman, but Sutton Foster is able to hold focus and fill the stage with her knowing smile. For many Broadway musical fans “The Music Man” has been a part of the record collection handed down from our parents. The characters have become a part of the history of the stage: Harold Hill, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, Winthrop Paroo and so many of the Iowa caricatures. The songs with their early take on street rap: the ”Rock Island” train ride of salesmen, "Ya Got Trouble", "Shipoopi", "Pick-a-Little Talk-a-Little", the "Wells Fargo Wagon", etc. all rest buried in our psyche.

As for Hugh Jackman, he is no longer the musclebound super hero, but has become a trim, tap dancing, singing charmer. For those who know musicals, usually the “stars” start out a dance number and then turn it over to the “dancing chorus” to wow you with footwork. Not Hugh, he is in every number and does every move to perfection, then finishes the song without panting and wheezing!!

Not much to fault about this production. It does what it is supposed to do, and makes a star of everyone on the stage from the oldest to the youngest (of which there are many talented kids.) Is it worth seeing? You bet’cha.  We haven’t had an opportunity to exercise those smile muscles for about 2 ½ years, now. You know what? They still work.


Thank you, Tom, for sharing your trip to the Big Apple!  Stay well and have fun!  Ed C.

Two down and five more to go. Can’t wait to read about them all.  Ken

Just an FYI……I enjoy reading all the news about your friends and the plays.  Thanks.
Linda  D.

Wow! - Kurt K.

Hello, So funny, as thought of you yesterday, and wondered how you are, and was going to write to you!!  Will enjoy the travel logs...and have fun in NYC!! Your journeys are always like reading National Geographic!!  Best,  Sandra B.

It seems like you all are having great fun doing Broadway once again!  Bravo for all of you.  Don and Danny

Thanks for sharing your good times. I can see how "The Music Man" would be a great tonic especially with Hugh. Stay well, Hugs, Larry, Bob and Hope

I have a lot nephew's and nieces  here.  Cousins by the dozens.  Many old friends. My social calendar is full. 
I hope my energy holds up.  Enjoy the season there,sounds like some great plays.  Have a wonderful time  and I will be watching. Donna H.

Kudos! Many thx for the reviews. Keep’em comin’. The text is fun to read and the occasional tongue-in-cheek is refreshing.   Barbara C.

Hi Tom, 
Please add my friend Judy Hodges who is copied above.   She knows Greg and would love to get your reviews.  Ya'all, Have a Hell of a Time in that 
Hell of a TOWN, New York, New York! Love,

I love following your Broadway adventures!  Keep ‘‘em coming. Love, Sylvia S.

 Color me 100% jealous!!! This trip looks amazing!   Love, Lauren  H

What wonderful reviews. Keep having great fun! Ruth K.

What a great kick off. Loved the email and professionally written descriptions. Well done!  Todd and Kevin

Funny Girl, [August Wilson Theater] Thursday April 28, 2022
For anyone who has had an opportunity to come to NYC and see a “BROADWAY SHOW,” there is an expectation that you’re going to see the best of the best. After all, with the surplus of talent, tradition and creativity which has given “Broadway” this reputation, how can you miss? That is a really good question. It can’t be a simple answer because there are too many parts to a show: the producers, the directors, writers, set designers, cast, etc. If these don’t all come together the magic is not there. Unfortunately there was very little magic, last night.

Enough has been said about how this production has not returned to Broadway for 58 (?) years. When some shows are revived every decade, this one has been lurking in the imagination as always associated with one extraordinary talent. Truth be told, the show itself was never that great. But after time, the aura around Barbra Streisand has continued grow in our minds to where we cannot disassociate the show from Barbra. There have been many “Roses” from Gypsy; many “Dollys” from Hello Dolly and the magic of those shows has been recreated. But there is only one “Fanny Brice” and it wasn’t the one born in 1891. It was the one created by Barbra Streisand.

It would be too easy to blame Beanie Feldstein (Fanny),  for this disappointment. The entire production seemed to lack the creativity necessary to put it together. It seems the producers may not have had the same vision. The casting directors were too concerned to find known stars rather than chemistry. The set designer was perhaps not provided with the money to make it happen. The orchestra, although talented, was reduced to about 12 musicians. The choreographer was told to insert various dance numbers without much authenticity. It seems that all of the creative minds were working independently, and they never consulted each other. All of these elements failed to come together to create the magic.

Jeremiah James replaced Ramin Karimloo in the role of Nick Arnstein our performance

Individually there were some strengths: Beanie Feldstein tried really hard to be dynamic, but the voice, the pitch and the presence were not there. Fanny’s mother, Jane Lynch had the comic timing down, but was a 6 ft, blond tower above the rest of the cast. We are told that the marvelous and handsome Ramin Karimloo (Nicky Arnstein) was impressive, but he was not there last night.

Fanny’s best show biz friend Eddie Ryan (Jared Grimes) was indeed an amazing tap dancer who would insert his footwork into most scenes serving as a reminder that he could dance. The breath-taking Ziegfeld Follies scenes were a few girls in feathers. Harvey Fierstein was called in to do a rewrite of the weaker scenes, and some numbers dropped from the original were reinserted, to no avail.

In 58 years should they try again to recreate the magic? Or, should we just play the Original Cast album again and just enjoy our own imagined magic?

Before our performance of Funny Girl we met Gladys and Ed at Don Antonio's  Great pizzas!!

Tom, Gladys, Ed, Richard and Greg at Don Antonios.

A “bad” evening on Broadway beats a good evening in Prescott. Hope next show is more enjoyable. Jeff S.

Tom…Thank you for these emails… I am thoroughly enjoying my virtual vacation Keep them coming.. Your WW friend..  Melanie D.

Sorry that Funny Girl didn't live up to its name.  Greg, I can't imagine you being truly content with someone who is NOT Barbra Streisand. Music Man looks great, though.  What fun! Hope the next ones are good.
Teri C.

After spending all that time having well-earned fun, how do you have the time to put together these illustrated reviews every night? Thank you! Barbara C.

Such a thoughtful review. Thanks for sharing your adventures in New York. Hugs (be safe), Larry (Bob and Hope, too)

Love it.Thanks for the update!  Donna H.

What a disappointment about Funny Girl.  You’re right; the photos of the production look...small.  And I don’t mean the sizing of the pix! Always a delight to see pictures of you and Richard and your good friends having fun! Love, Nancy

Thank you tom. Great pictures 
Paula and Dave C.

!!!  Annette Amelia O.

Good enough review to run in NYTimes!  I bet the show will fold soon, it hadn’t had good reviews by anyone.  Sylvia S.

Lauren and I are seeing Broadway in Portland shows. I really want to got to New York, to see a Broadway show.  I love your photos and reviews. Sheila D.

Thank you for the photo insert of Jeremiah James face. I thought his head looked a little lopsided! Are you guys seeing my friend's Strange Loop?  Kevin W.

Hi Tom, You can almost tell that the pictures of the Funny Girl show lack of chemistry! Looks like GREAT Pizza! I am going to go practice my struggling Jazz Piano Theory - hard to master with 10 thumbs! Cheers, Noreen M.

Hudson Yard Visit, Friday April 29, 2022

Today we took the subway "downtown" as they say,  We made it from 75th Street to 34th Street in 2 stops (changing lines at Time Square) and met our travel friends at Hudson Yards.  Our travel friends are Gladys and Ed [Oakland, CA] and Elaine and Dianne [Martinez, CA].  We met at the Vessel.

Visitors cannot go up into the Vessel at this time.

We bought tickets to ride up to the 100th floor of this building to explore "The Edge".  This is a deck cantilevered off of the side of the building with sweeping views of Manhattan and beyond.  We could see 3 major airports from here as it was a very clear day.  The tall, thick glass walls created a cocoon of warmth on a windy cold day!


Greg, Richard, Tom, Gladys, Ed

Looking down to the street underneath the feet.

You can see the "Edge" in the background with the deck we had just been standing on!

We crossed the street and entered "Little Island"

Little island is made up of many little pods on columns going into the Hudson River

Richard, Greg, Elaine, Dianne and Tom

Gladys and Ed


Greg, Ed, Gladys, Tom


Playing chimes on the brass plates in the walkway.

Thanks for the tour. Some wonderful vistas and fascinating architecture. So glad you’re enjoying all this with friends.  Ruth K.

Hey TOM, Thank you for sharing those wonderful photos. Janek B.

You went to the edge and beyond R and R. Robert W.

Looks like you  had a good day weatherwise for your adventure!  Nancy D.

Again, thanks for the memories…sort of. When in NYC last Thanksgiving, it was so windy that it was hard to stay upright on the plaza below the Edge. So, a visitation next time is on the list. Loved the “sky” shots with label. Barbara C

Hudson Yards looks like a great addition to my favorite American City. (After SF) Sylvia S.

Thanks for sharing Tom! Tell Richard that Wade says hi and that I miss him! Wade C.

Hi All,

Looks to be a great trip: lovely weather, smiling companions, and mostly great shows. If I ever make it back to NYC this year I will definitely take the wisdom of Greg's reviews over the professional opinions of other, "better known" critics. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Enjoy!  Charles B.

Company, Stephen Sondheim [Bernard Jacobs Theater] Friday April 29, 2022
This is presumptuous of me, but…hey! Why not? I believe that there are only two types of people: those who are Sondheim fanatics, and those who haven’t seen any of his shows. (There’s still hope for them.)

I won’t go into all of Stephen Sondheim shows; writers have been doing that for decades. But, let’s just deal with COMPANY. In 1970 (52 years ago!) Mr. Sondheim created a musical which was to change the course of “Musicals” forever. In his always complex way of approaching issues, he decided to create a musical about the “Pros and Cons” of marriage. At that time Sondheim had always been single, and had plenty of time to think about that issue. He lived in New York City, and observed the difficulty of the pace, stress and loneliness which can happen even though one is constantly surrounded by people. One has colleagues, occasional relationship encounters and “Married” friends who only reinforce the feeling of being alone. One puts up a strong front of being just fine with it, but for many, it secretly gnaws at your core. This is the basis for COMPANY.


In 1970, we meet Bobby. A single bachelor who is (not) celebrating his 35th birthday. In his mind, and in no particular order, he reflects on his friends. Yes, he has friends, mostly married, who are always trying to include him in their lives. (You know, “three’s company.”) The women are trying to fix him up with nice girls, and the men are thinking of how lucky he is to be able to play the field of “hot” girls. Bobby spends an evening with each of the couples, and is confronted with the difficulty of married life. Are they sorry they got married? “You’re always sorry; you’re always grateful.” Most of the evenings end up in hilarious situations where the reality of married life is explored


When COMPANY ran on Broadway, it was nominated for 14 Tony awards and it won 6. It was viewed as a brilliant commentary on city life in the 70’s. In the West End, London,  director Marianne Elliott, who had received critical acclaim for her productions of “War Horse” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” decided to revisit COMPANY. With the blessing of Stephen Sondheim himself, and with slight changes to the text, she opened a new COMPANY, in London,  in 2018. Only, this time Bobby became BOBBIE, a single female about to celebrate her 35th birthday. This is the production which has made its way to Broadway, once again. This new approach has now become a brilliant commentary on city life in the 2020’s. After all, loneliness is universal, and only becomes more complicated as time goes on.

This production was slated to open on Sondheim’s 90th birthday (March 22, 2020) and ran nine previews before it was forced to close because of the pandemic. It resumed previews November 15, 2021 with Sondheim in attendance shortly before his death.
With the gender reversal comes some even more opportunities to comment on contemporary issues. However, surprisingly, very little changes were necessary.

Bobbie's 3 dates

This time Bobbie is dating 3 very different men who seem to be the equivalent of the original 3 women. This time we have a gay male couple who are about to be married where the “bride” equivalent has a show stopping and hilarious breakdown before the ceremony. This time we have the ever-present cell phone and selfies taking center stage. (A side note for our theater friends, the recorded warning about turning off the cell phone is delivered by Patti Lupone who warns of serious consequences.)

Gay couple on their way to be married.

I cannot run through all of the vignettes which occur, but I must comment on the staging and brilliant set. Since the story takes place in the mind of Bobbie, there is an opportunity for things to appear and disappear at her whim. Even the set is alive with quite a sense of humor which should win the director Marianne Elliott even more plaudits for her genius visualizations.

The magic of live theater is unmistakable with this production. I can only hope that those “Non-Sondheim-fanatics” have an opportunity to see this, either in NYC, or when it takes to the road. You will be rewarded, and in very good COMPANY.


Spectacular. The most satisfying revival of a Sondheim show in history.  Time Out.


Thanks Tom, for the daily updates! To Greg, excellent observations very keen and noteworthy. Your company review makes me want to get on a plane to New York as soon as possible. Dennis C.

What a GREAT review!  I had read about the role reversal but have not heard any comments about it.  The music is soooo fabulous and one day we look forward to seeing the new take on it.  We saw Company in 2018 or around that time in NYC sometime before Covid shut down all the theatres.  Sounds like you gentlemen are having a fine time!  Hugs, Noreen M.


Little Shop of Horrors, [Westside Theatre, Off Broadway, (Upstairs)] Saturday April 30,

We venture into new territory….Off Broadway, where there is a now long running production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” This is a scary adventure for me because I was only marginally aware of the film, then musical based on the film, then film based on the musical, then larger musical—only to be turned into another film in the works in 2022. It seems that once the nerds turn something into a cult, like the plant, there is no stopping it.

Richard and Greg at our front row seats!

This “LSOH” (easier to type) has been running for a year or so, and has found its audience. It has been a great show for some well known Broadway stars to find work and have some fun while waiting for bigger jobs. We have the Greek Chorus (called the "Urchins" like “backup singers” who move the story along and appear all over the stage.

We have Seymour (Conrad Ricamora) who fits the bill as a naïve orphan working in a failed plant shop. Then we have Audrey (Tammy Blanchard) who also works at the plant shop, but plainly has “been around.” We then have Mushnik (Stuart Zagnit) who owns the plant shop.

And, then, we have Orin (and others) all played by multiple Tony winner Christian Borle, who is really having fun. Oh, and let’s not forget Audrey II, the plant who, little by little, quite literally takes over the stage.

Since the story seems to be known by many, I won’t go into all of the gory details, only to say that from this little shop comes a space alien in the form of a blood and flesh eating plant which is sent to devour Earth. Depending on the ending you see, it has varied success. I say that because when the 1986 film was made the audience was upset about the ending, and they changed it to suit the taste of the public, NOT the plant. In the movie ending we, as the people of Earth, stand a chance. In the stage musical, we just don’t. We were in that group and were doomed to be consumed along with all of humanity.

And I thought we had problems in 2022!


Becco Restaurant

You'd think we wouldn't have an appetite after the play ... wrong!  We ate an early supper after Little Shop at Becco's, on 46st Street, "Restaurant Row".  The 2 empty chairs were not filled as Dianne was not feeling well and she and Elaine stayed back at their hotel

Restaurateur Lidia Bastianich stopped by and let us take a group photo.

We had the bottomless pasta special preceded by a caesar salad. Soooo  good.

The play looks like so much fun. And the bottomless pasta special. What could beat that? Pam and Larry L.

How wonderful that you got to meet Lydia!  And, is anything sadder than those two empty chairs??? Elaine and Dianne

What fun The Music Man looked!  Pardon my silence on your emails about Broadway; I discovered my computer had dumped them into the Junk file! Love,
Nancy  D.

Richard and tom…
Wow such fun. Thx for updating me on your wonderful adventure.  I am most jealous of “Lidia” photo at your dinner table.  Keep up the good work.
Love, cousin Sherry S.

Lidia showed up, I hope you also got an autograph... how neat. Phil D

How great to eat at Lydia's restaurant! I watched her for years on PBS and love her recipes. Thanks again for your theater reviews. Move over Mr. LaSalle we have experts here to replace you. Rosemary J.


Love being with you by proxy!  Keep the travelogue and reviews coming! And Happy Lei Day in Hawaii!  Aloha! Ruth K.

Tom and the Broadway group,

It must be the post pandemic mind set that heightens the enjoyment I am receiving from reading your fabulous reviews!  It is almost like being there (well, that's a bit of hyperbole, but you get the drift).  Thank you so much for doing your reviews and for sharing them.  Such an array of plays!  Was disappointed that Funny Girl was not better.  You are correct we all remember the Barbra S. break-out role:)  

Keep enjoying those plays and keep the reviews coming:)  BTW the dining experiences seem to be not so bad either!! PaulaA.

Mrs. Doubtfire, [Stephen Sondheim Theater] Saturday April 30, 2022

Many of us remember the 1993 film “Mrs. Doubtfire” starring Robin Williams. It was a vehicle for him to again WOW us with his versatility. Here his character (Daniel Hillard) is an out of work actor who confused his real life with his characters on stage. The wife could no longer put up with his constant roles that he would play rather than the most important role of being a father to the children.

After the painful divorce and losing custody of his 3 children, he becomes the “Nanny” to the kids in order to spend time with them. Those of us who remember the movie will not be surprised by anything in this production. It is all there: the transformation to “Mrs. Doubtfire” by the gay hairdresser brother, the dancing with the vacuum cleaner, the two burnt breasts (his own) while struggling to cook, the quick changes and his redemption at the end.

Daniel between his gay brother and brother's partner

This production started out in Seattle and ultimately made it to Broadway a few days before the Pandemic lock down. It had a few false starts because of the cast being exposed to Covid.

Even though it had few surprises it would not be fair to say that our performance wasn't enjoyable, and an incredible fete by Rob McClure who gave us a performance of which Robin Williams would have been proud. In a movie there is time to change from one character to another and then back again. On stage it must be done with breakneck speed and CGI accuracy. He succeeds to create and change all his characters, their voices, and their mannerisms with superhuman ability. It is truly a tour de force performance. The other characters are exactly what one would expect. They pull back on their idiosyncrasies in order to draw attention to Mrs. Doubtfire.

The other aspects of the show are quite enjoyable. The story set in San Francisco has some beautiful visuals of the Bay and Victorians. The lighting is superb. The costumes are colorful and quick changing. The music is of the POP variety, with an occasional rap thrown in for humor, but none of it memorable. What was not enjoyable for me was the augmented volume of the entire production. The loud downbeat of the drums, and the mic level of all the singing voices eventually became mind dulling. Perhaps people who are not used to seeing a movie transformed into live theater need that because they have lost the ability to listen to real voices.

In a way I was expecting to have something that was not an exact replica of the movie; perhaps some observations about the role of men and women raising children. Nevertheless, we had a good time, and watched a technical movie performed live before our very eyes.

We all remember Robin Williams’ Mrs. Doubtfire. Must have been fun to see this performance. Ruth K.


No Broadway Today, Sunday May 1, 2022

Today we were able to sleep in and take it easy.  We met NY friend Dorene in the early afternoon. She lives at West 181st Street near the Hudson River.  The fastest way was to take the subway Downtown to Columbus Circle then we could catch an Uptown express train up to 181st.  I.E., we went down to go up - minimal stops.

We took the "A Train"

Ian, Richard, Tom and Greg at Dorene home.

Ian, a friend of hers, was there and they had fixed a lot of things to snack on: crackers with humus and with a spicey red dip, baguette slices with brie.  This was served next to asparagus, slices bell pepper, cherry tomatoes.  Ian is a twin so there were 3 twins, comparing notes.

GW Bridge. Built in 1931, busiest bridge in the world.

Ian also lives close by and took us on a tour of the area:  Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, Washington Heights, Hudson Heights, the old handsome apartment buildings, etc.  We actually ended up at the highest natural formation elevation in Manhattan:  a granite boulder in Bennett Park. It was here that Ian took off and we caught an Uber to our supper destination:  Red Rooster in Harlem (at 125st.) 

The is the restaurant of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelson.  It is near the Apollo Theater.  There was live music playing.  The menu is fun to read and we had a chance to try a lot of things with four people ordering:

Corn Bread
Sweet Potato Coconut Soup
Farmer's Remix Salad
Spicy Charred Glazed Cauliflower
Ms. Lana's Lobster Roll
Mac & Greens
Yardbird By The Piece (bbq chicken pieces)

Greg, Richard, Tom and Dorene at Red Rooster.

There was a little green house inside the restaurant with many pots of herbs like (no pix).

Greg, inside Red Rooster

Took the No. 1 Train back to the hotel!

I love these daily updates!  Jeff S.

Sounds like a delightful day! Ruth K.

Hey guys n thank you for the continuing updates and theater reviews. We saw the vessel a couple of years ago just after it opened. You probably know that it is closed to the public now due to the escalating number of suicides from the top of the structure. The reviews have been wonderful to read and makes me want to be in New York. We’ve met Lidia several times; it’s great to see her and I’m so happy you had a chance to meet her. We didn’t realize it is still so cold in New York, clued in by the heavy coats and lack of leaves on the trees! We in California are blessed in ahead of the game! Cheers, and look forward to the next several days. Dennis C.


I love to see you making the most of being a New York tourist! Isn’t it a fabulous City? Love, Sylvia S.

Another Day Off, Monday May 2, 2022

Our week-end is coming to a close and it will be back to work tomorrow with our last play.

Early in the morning we saw the brightest flash followed immediately by the loudes crash of thunder as a fast moving storm passed over.  By the time we went out, there was the lightest hint of a drizzle. 

Lightening from this storm hit the New World Trade Center.

We walked east a couple of block to Central Park then south to check out The Dakotas, a famous apartment building at 72nd Street.  This is also one of the entrances to the park and we stepped in for a few minutes to look at the Strawberry Fields.  We saw a bright red strawberry but it turned out to be a piece of a candy wrapper.  Too early for the real thing).

Donna alerted her grandson Dillon that we were in NYC and he reached out to us.  He is Randy's nephew and has lived here for a number of years (nowin Brooklyn). So Dillon reached out to us a few days ago and arranged for us to have dinner with him and his girl friend Ana.

Greg, Richard, Tom, Dillon and Ana

We ate at a restaurant near our hotel called 5NapkinBurger.  We sat in a corner booth where we could visit and catch up with things.  I ordered the"Crispy Vegan Chicken [burger] (V) with provolone, tomato jam, banana peppers, potato bun.  It tasted just like chicken!  (A vegetarian's joke.)

Meanwhile a little over a mile away was the Met Gala at the Metropolitan of Art.  Here are photos Ryan Reynolds wife's dress (she was a co-host this year). 

Her dress transformed for a metalic copper into a beautiful turquoise

And of course the star of out Tuesday show was there with an eye-catching headdress.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Met Gala 2022

Before the show we met Gladys and Ed for supper at Itallian restaurant Bond 45. 

Tom, Gladys, Ed, Richard and Greg at Italian Restaurant Bond 45 in the Theater District

Assorted vegetable plate: Green beans, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Veg in puff pastry (pizza??), and mushrooms.



Plaza Suite, Neil Simon, [Hudson Theater] Tuesday May 3, 2022
Neil Simon (b 1927-d 2018, 91yrs) was such a prolific playwright that he wrote over 30 stage plays, and as many movies. During 1966, Simon had four shows playing simultaneously at Broadway theaters: “Sweet Charity,” “The Star-Spangled Girl,” “The Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park.” He has received more combined Oscar and Tony Award nominations than any other writer. His view was, “how sad and funny life is.” “ I can’t think of a serious situation that does not involve some pain. I used to ask, ‘What is a funny Situation?” Now I ask, “What is a sad situation and how can I tell it humorously?”

Plaza Suite opened in 1968 as 4 one act plays all taking place in room 719 of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. (One of which was cut during pre-production and was later expanded and became the feature film “The Out-of-Towners.”

Act I, “Visitor from Mamaroneck” --An effort to celebrate 23 (or 24) years of marriage which doesn’t bode well for the couple.

Act I: "Visitor from Mamaroneck"

Act II “Visitor from Hollywood” A Hollywood producer trying to relive a bit of his past with his high school girl friend from Tenafly, N.J.

Act II: "Visitor From Hollywood


Act III “Visitor from Forest Hills” The Hubley’s about to celebrate the wedding of their daughter, Mimsey, who has locked herself in the bathroom.

Act III - Visitor from Forest Hills

This time all three acts are staring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker who have a great time adopting the roles of all the married couples. One of the unsung stars of the show is Tom Watson (Hair and Wig Design) who after 17 years of supplying wigs for the Metropolitan Opera has transformed both actors into their various characters.

Matthew Broderick who has finally aged slightly  from his Bueller days attacks all three characters with intelligence, and restraint. He nebbishly doesn’t over act, but keeps it close to his vest. Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) gets to have a bit more fun with physical comedy which she does in a Lucille Ball kind of way. You don’t see much of her “Sex in the City” character as all three are no where near our Carrie Bradshaw. Just hours before appearing on stage SJP ‘wowed’ the crowd at the Met Gala with this year’s fabulous outfit and headdress. Ah, New York!!

Despite the relationship problems of all three of the couples, you could see that there was a basis of real chemistry between Matthew and SJP. The evening is enjoyable however outdated the script.


Strange Loop, [Lyceum Theater] Wednesday May 4, 2022

A STRANGE LOOP—Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson
This is not your mother’s Broadway musical. In fact, there has never been a “musical” quite like this one. Not being a real critic, I don’t have the tools or the nerve to write a review of this show. I can only share some of the thoughts of the central character. It’s about “a Black, gay man writing a musical about a Black, gay man who’s writing a musical about a Black, gay man who’s writing a musical about a Black, gay man, etc.” (Hence, the title.)

The main character is “Usher” who we see in a red usher’s outfit asking the audience of Disney’s LION KING, to go back to their seats for Act II. He is soon joined by 6 other actors who are described as: Thought 1, Thought 2, Thought 3, Thought 4, Thought 5 and don’t forget Thought 6. They serve as Usher’s  denizens of his psyche who nag, throw shade and mock him. In other words, they represent Usher’s Daily Self Loathing.

Usher with four Thoughts

Usher feels that it’s time that we have a “Big Black and queer-ass American Broadway show.” He wants to deal with issues that have never been dealt with in a musical. I cannot explain Usher’s character in a better way than using his own words, as though he is filling out his own Grindr profile: “A young overweight-to-obese homosexual and/or gay and/or queer, cisgender male, able-bodied university-and-graduate-school educated, musical theater writing, Disney ushering, broke-ass middle-class politically homeless normie leftist Black American descendant of slaves who thinks he’s probably a vers bottom.”
Well, that’s what we, as audience members, experience.

At every turn he experiences rejection and disappointment. His THOUGHTS (all six of them) repeat about how worthless he is as a writer, as a gay man, as a physically attractive man. His parents cannot understand why he wants to be a homosexual, because it’s a sin, and he will die of aids. They want him to write a nice Gospel Musical for Tyler Perry.

Through all of the misery we listen to clever lyrics which are deep in meaning and pain. It practically forces us to care about this man.

When the play appeared OFF-Broadway in 2019, it won many awards, and was one of very few musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize before even making it to Broadway. Now that it has arrived, the reviewers are taking another look at this play, and it is receiving rave reviews. However, there is always the warning that you will never see another Broadway show like this, now or in the future. The acting is terrific; the music is varied; the experience is riveting and we will wait and see what the Broadway public  is going to make of such a “Psychological Blood-letting.”

That’s it for 2022. See you all next year.  Greg


TWA Hotel Wednesday May 4, 2022

We wanted to expience the TWA Hotel at JFK so we booked our last night there.  Because we did this, it gave us time to see the matinee of Strange Loop before heading out to the airport.

Elaine and Dianne got there before we did.  And Elaine's cousin Linda arrived from Berkeley shortly after us.

Note:  Elaine and her cousin Linda are flying out to Milan later on this day.  The rest of us are returning to the West Coast.

From the outside.

This structure began as a TWA terminal building designed by the Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962.  Its futuristic design remains futuristic-looking 6o years later. In 2019 it was converted to a hotel.

We quickly checked in.  Greg and I have rooms opposite of each other on the 8th floor.  Above us is the swimming pool and bar.  My room looked over the runways and Greg's looked into the hotel's restaurant.

Stairs, bridges, accessability challenging walkways.

Red carpeted tunnels lead to guest rooms.  Don't bump your head.

Short video of lobby area:


Old fashioned flight status board clicking and clacking away.

My room was like this, but much more neatly maintained!

Great, Tom, Elaine, Dianne and Linda. Dinner at Cafe Paris in the hotel.

A visit to the "Connie", one of the last Constellations flown by TWA.

Greg at the top of the stairs.

Dianne, Elaine, Greg and Linda inside the plane.

From the lobby area.

Dianne awaiting our Alaska flight home.