Sunday, September 27, 2015

An American in Paris

25th Anniversary - Saturday - Part 2.

Having gotten out of Wicked a little before 5pm, we had some time to kill (and an errand to run) before seeing an evening show of An American in Paris at 8pm.

Amp had bought the tickets for AAiP through Stub Hub a few days earlier, with the requirement that we had to physically pick them up at a Stub Hub store front a few blocks south of Times Square. I didn't even know that such a thing existed. But sure enough, after wading through the absolute freak show that is Times Square, we found the store front and got our tickets.

With a good two and a half hours still to go before the show, we decided to head a couple blocks west of  Broadway and try to find a place to eat, preferably an ethnic place of some sort. After fighting our way back through Times Square (and passing the evening's theater, the Palace, right on the Square), we found a Thai place named Qi on 8th Avenue. We weren't all that hungry (or so we thought), but we would be busy from 7:30 until about 11, and it was now-or-never for dinner. As it turned out, the food was fabulous, and we split a fried sesame-crusted tofu appetizer. Amp followed up with a marinated citrus chicken dish of some sort, and I had a Massaman chicken curry, one of my favorites. Both were terrific, and again surprisingly-not-ridiculously-expensive. I guess that I had been expecting to spend a fortune on basic meals in the city, and got off better than I expected.
Fried Sesame Crusted Tofu

We were back in Times Square by maybe 7pm, and spent some time wandering through the street festival du jour, which was a "get to know France" themed event. This was basically a two block long tourism advertisement, with live music and food samples. Odd but interesting was the display of the successful attempt at breaking the Guinness Book of World Records mark for largest one piece butter sculpture. As we say around the kitchen at home, butter makes everything better...
World Record Butter Sculpture

Having finished with the Paris skyline in butter, and all things French, we headed into the Palace Theater. The first and most obvious thing that struck us was that this was an older (or less well renovated) and smaller theater than the Gershwin. It was narrow, tight, and tall. Having watched a show in the spaciousness of the Gershwin mere hours before, this felt a bit like watching a show from the top of an elevator shaft. That notwithstanding, our seats were OK, and we had a good top-down look at the stage.
An American in Paris - Palace Theater Stage

An American In Paris is a stage production/adaptation of the Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron movie from 1951, with music by George and Ira Gershwin. I had vague memories of the movie, but know the music very well, playing it at home from time to time. Anyone who watches TV and has ever seen a car commercial will know some of the music.

The show was excellent, but couldn't have been much more different than Wicked, in that it revolved completely around dance. There was acting, there was singing, but the dancing was the focal point. Amp had read up on the production, and the leads were apparently played by professional ballet dancers who could also act and sing very well. Amp's main interest in the show was becauseof the ballet, which I went into with a little bit of trepidation, but I really ended up enjoying it. The cast was great, the music was terrific, and the staging and dance numbers were amazing.

The show was done by about 10:45, we were back at the car by 11:00 or so, and out of the city and back at our in-laws' house by a little before 12:30am.

What a fabulous day, and thanks to the in-laws for watching the kids for us.

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