We spent Sunday evening in NYC meeting our friends, Tom and Jana and their son, Conor. We took the 1:59 train arriving in GCT about 3:50, roughly an hour before our dinner reservation. Bill and I were able to stroll leisurely along 42nd Street, crossing from East to West, stopping at Bryant Park on the way. There was a light rain falling, so light we debated the need for our umbrella as we dodged from one building’s awning to the next. We eventually opened the umbrella, huddled close together and continued our walk; the rain didn’t last long. Arriving in NYC early was nice, the pace easy, no rushing through the crowds to avoid being late. We ran into a snag the last time I ventured into the city with my friends which I wrote about here and ended up traveling for close to 4 1/2 hours before arriving at our hotel where we could relax for a bit. Not so this trip; the train was on time so there was no reason to hurry. We did a little people watching then headed out to meet the group.
We ate sushi for dinner, grabbed lattes at Starbuck’s for dessert, noted the street performers (The Statue of Liberty, Sponge bob, Buzz Lightyear and two topless women whose chests were painted red, white and blue were some of the characters on the street) then walked to The Belasco Theater to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris, the reason for our NYC date. Over the 4th of July weekend the four of us decided, spur of the moment, to try to get tickets. Score! We were seated in Row F, the last row in the balcony. In other words we were as far from the stage as one can get. The seats were fine, good even, positioned toward center stage with a direct view. The only time we lost sight of NPH was when he danced and sang in the isles of the front orchestra during one song (Sugar Daddy, the song he performed during the Tony’s); we leaned forward in time to see him straddle, wriggle and grind a guy’s lap who was fortunate ( or unfortunate) enough to be sitting front row. Other than that all the action happened onstage where we were able to watch it unfold. Neil Patrick Harris was fantastic! I had really wanted to see the show with him in the lead and am so happy I did. Sometimes acting quickly on an idea, rather than thinking about it and planning it for weeks or even months, works out just fine.
The music was loud, the atmosphere was rowdy, the audience cheered, laughed and clapped throughout. It was a great show. But it was somber and quiet at times too as Hedwig described the twists and turns of her/his life and how s/he ended up where s/he did. Without getting too deep I’ll just say that after the show, once outside, someone said they felt sad for people who don’t feel they fit in, don’t know where they belong in the world. We all agreed. Another little lesson in gratitude. When I think I’m fat or my hair is too curly or frizzy or I just don’t like what I see in the mirror I can remember that at my core I’m content, happy in my own skin. It’s taken a long time to get here with my own twists and turns but I’m, more or less, here.