Six wonderful nights of appealing performances. This is another reason I love New York. As soon as we arrived and stashed our luggage at Leo House some of us went to Times Square to see what we could find in show tickets for the evening. We found tickets for “On the Town”. It was wonderful musical and even though we were very tired we throughly enjoyed the singing, the costumes and the overall production. It was very exciting the first night in New York to hear the song “New York, New York, a helluva of a town”. It set the stage for the week and yes it is a helluva of a town.
Monday evening saw us attend the Metropolitian Opera in the Lincoln Centre complex. The opera was La Donna del Lago by Rossini. Beyond the set, the performers and the wonderful music a highlight for me was the hall with the Swarovski crystal chandeliers. As the curtain rose for the first act so did the chandeliers. We came away feeling satiated and in a bit of a wonderland.
Next we went off to the Jazz Standard club. We were privileged to hear the Russell Malone Quartet. Russell Malone is considered to be one of today’s finest jazz guitarists. He was introducing a new CD “Love Looks Good On You” The CD is wonderful mellow jazz. The set was great, , with some good variety, it was over too soon. I actually spoke with Russell Malone and told him how much I enjoyed the quartet’s music. toWe had a great southern dinner, there were fritters, a great brown butter sweet potato mash, crispy brussel sprouts slaw and a delicious banana cream pie with lots of bananas and crispy shards of burnt sugar brittle.
One of the students from Grant MacEwan U had a cousin acting in this show and this drew us to the Kraine theatre on the lower East side on Wed. evening . “The Accident” was very much like a Fringe play in Edmonton, well done and very enjoyable. We were lucky to get it on opening night. There were a number of small theatres in this location. It would be fun to have been able to see more in the evening.
Thursday saw us back on Broadway at the Lincoln Centre, this time Avery Fisher Hall. We were wowed by Yo Yo Mah and the Silk Road Ensemble and also by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. I was blown away by the size of the orchestra and the youth of the concertmaster. The sound filled the hall and the Strauss: Death and Transfiguration transported the listener. I realized that this was the first symphony orchestra I had heard live other than my favourite Edmonton Symphony. When I expressed my amazement at the size and the sound I was told that the New York Philharmonic is considered one of the premiere orchestra’s in the world. Again I felt so lucky to be able to hear them. The Silk Road Ensemble’s music was all new to me. However I knew I was going to love it when I heard f what I thought was bagpipes and turned out to be a gaita. Yo Yo Mah and the Silk Road Ensemble certainly expanded my musical horizons. As I write I am listening to them and am transported back to Lincoln Centre.
Our last evening took us back to Times Square and Broadway for The Audience. We went into a magnificent old theatre the Gerald Schoenfeld, divested ourselves of many outer layers and settled into our seats with anticipation. The curtain went up and Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth appeared. Within a few minutes we were not aware that it was Helen Mirren. It was the Queen of England. The mannerisms, the voice the gestures and the facial expression were to a Queen watcher evidence that this was the Queen. Helen Mirren’s diction is impeccable. She is agile onstage. I was mesmerized!. In short this was the best way to conclude a week in New York if it had to be concluded at all.